Chavonnes Battery Museum

Chavonnes Battery Museum cannon balls

Experience the birth of the city of Cape Town

Chavonnes Battery: Watchdog of The Table Bay

This Cape Town historical visitor attraction showcases a unique journey commencing from the original shoreline which has been buried for 140 years. This is where the ruins of the Chavonnes Battery rest. Built in 1724, the first in a range of coastal defences to deter sea-borne aggressors and named after the Governor Chavonne, its stable firing platform with 16 large cannons enabled gunners to accuratly fire on hostile ships from its perch as watchdog of the bay.

 Buried treasure

The Chavonnes Battery was partially demolished in 1860. Is stone was reused in the building of the Alfred Basin and the Clock Tower was built as its new sentinel. In 1999, the Chavonnes Battery was re-discovered, excavated and conserved in a spectacular example of architectural ingenuity.

 Time travel to Cape Town as it was 300 years ago

Visitors are invited to step below sea-level for a fascinating and informative perspective of 17th and 18th Century Cape Town. Explore the largest selection of muzzle loaded cannons in the country, displays show the results of the excavation work, including a well. Detailed models depict the battery in 1726, paraphernalia associated with cannons and a bird’s-eye view of Cape Town and Table Bay about 70 years later. This is the only site you can touch the sand of the original Cape Town shoreline, the sand Jan Van Riebeek walked on.

 Meander through history on a guided walking tour

Guides dressed in period costume will share stories of the people and events that led to the birth of Cape Town on the museum tour. The V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tour includes points of interest and fascinating historical relics of the early days such as the first power station, the last boom defence vessel and the rocket life-saving apparatus and those added later as the docks developed, such as the torture Treadmill, still to be seen, if you know where to look for them. Book a tour.

 Host your special event in this unique setting...

With indoor / outdoor flow split levels, Table Mountain and the V&A as your backdrop this exclusive location is currently hosting the international exhibition by Mohau Modisakeng and has hosted prestigious exhibitions such as the Da Vinci The Genius travelling exhibition, cocktail parties, themed events, book launches, corporate and government conferences, workshops and seminars. Book a site visit.

 On your own or in a group, you are welcome!

Nedbank Building (Opposite Nelson Mandela gateway to Robben Island)

Clock Tower, V&A Waterfront,

Cape Town, South Africa


Open: 9am-4pm Daily

Entrance: R35 Adults R25 Seniors

Guided Tours available daily: Booking Essential

Tel: +27 21 416 6230