FACTOID # 25: If you're tired of sitting in traffic on your way to work, move to North Dakota.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Robben Island
Robben Island*
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Prison buildings on Robben Island. Table Mountain some 15 km in the background
State Party Flag of South Africa South Africa
Type Cultural
Criteria iii, vi
Reference 916
Region Africa
Inscription History
Inscription 1999  (23rd Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
† Region as classified by UNESCO.

Robben Island (Afrikaans Robben Eiland) is an island in Table Bay, 12 km off the coast from Cape Town, South Africa and is located at 33.806734° S 18.366222° ECoordinates: 33.806734° S 18.366222° E. The name is Dutch for "seal island" (or to be strictly accurate, "island of seals", because Robben is plural). [Incidentally, "Seal Island" is a different island in nearby False Bay.] Robben Island is roughly oval and about a kilometer wide. It is flat and only a few metres above sealevel, as a result of an ancient erosion event. The island is composed of Precambrian metamorphic rocks belonging to the Malmesbury Group. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 880 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Prison buildings on Robben Island. ... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Africa. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Look up Wiktionary:Swadesh lists for Afrikaans and Dutch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Cape Town, False Bay (top) and Table Bay (right) from space, February 1995. ... ‹ The template below (Unit of length) is being considered for deletion. ... Nickname: Motto: Spes Bona (Latin for Good Hope) Location of the City of Cape Town in Western Cape Province Coordinates: , Country Province Municipality City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality Founded 1652 Government [1]  - Type City council  - Mayor Helen Zille  - City manager Achmat Ebrahim Area  - City 2,499 km²  (964. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... Link titleBold text[[Ima == Headline text ==link titleLink titleLink titleLink titleLink titleLink titleLink title ge:Example. ... The Cape Peninsula, False Bay (top) and Table Bay,with Robben Island (right), from space, February 1995. ... The Precambrian (Pre-Cambrian) is an informal name for the eons of the geologic timescale that came before the current Phanerozoic eon. ... Quartzite, a form of metamorphic rock, from the Museum of Geology at University of Tartu collection. ...

Robben Island as viewed from Table Mountain. The view is roughly to the north-northwest. The distant sandy shore beyond disappears towards Saldanha Bay.
Robben Island as viewed from Table Mountain. The view is roughly to the north-northwest. The distant sandy shore beyond disappears towards Saldanha Bay.

Contents

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1656x1242, 284 KB) Summary Robben island as viewed from Table Moutain / South Africa, Cape Town I took this in Feb-2005. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1656x1242, 284 KB) Summary Robben island as viewed from Table Moutain / South Africa, Cape Town I took this in Feb-2005. ... This article is about Table Mountain in South Africa. ... Saldanha Bay is an inlet on the south-western coast of South Africa, north west of Cape Town, forming a land-locked harbour. ...

History

Robben Island was first inhabited thousands of years ago by stone age people, at a time when sea levels were considerably lower than they are today and people could walk to it. It was then a flat-topped hill. Towards the end of the last Ice Age the melting of the ancient ice caps caused sealevels to rise and the land around the island was flooded by the ocean.


Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used to isolate certain people — mainly prisoners — and amongst its first permanent inhabitants were political leaders from various Dutch colonies, including Indonesia. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ...


From 1836 to 1931 the island was used as a leper colony. Year 1836 (MDCCCXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A leper colony is a place to quarantine people with leprosy from the rest of the population. ...


During the Second World War, the island was fortified and guns were installed as part of the defences for Cape Town. Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ...


Robben Island became a maximum security prison in 1959. Between 1961 and 1991, over three thousand men were incarcerated here as political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (IPA: ) (born 18 July 1918) is the former President of South Africa, and the first to be elected in fully representative democratic elections. ...


During the time that the island was a prison, security was very tight and it was off limits to almost all civilians, including fishermen. Before about 1980 there was not one citizen in 10,000 in Cape Town who had set foot on the island. It is not generally known that the use of the island as a prison was greatly inhibited for centuries by a lack of fresh water. The island is arid, with low scrubby vegetation and has no watercourses. Boreholes were drilled in the first half of the 20th century but in due course the fragile water table was invaded by sea water and the bores became useless. Sometime after 1965 a pipeline was laid on the bottom of the ocean from Cape Town. Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... Scrubland is plant community characterized by scrub vegetation. ... A waterway is any navigable body of water. ... Water borehole in northern Uganda A borehole is a deep and narrow shaft in the ground used for abstraction of fluid or gas reserves below the earths surface. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Cross section showing the water table varying with surface topography as well as a perched water table The water table or phreatic surface is the surface where the water pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ...


F.W. de Klerk initiated the removal of political prisoners in June of 1990, with the last gone by May of the following year. The last of the non-political prisoners (who had always been held separately from political prisoners) left the island in 1996, and it became a museum in 1997.

Cape Town, False Bay (top) and Table Bay with Robben Island (right) from space, February 1995.
Cape Town, False Bay (top) and Table Bay with Robben Island (right) from space, February 1995.
Gate to Robben Island prison.
Gate to Robben Island prison.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (639x639, 133 KB)Cape Town, False Bay (top) and Table Bay (right), South Africa - February 1995 image description here File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (639x639, 133 KB)Cape Town, False Bay (top) and Table Bay (right), South Africa - February 1995 image description here File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Nickname: Motto: Spes Bona (Latin for Good Hope) Location of the City of Cape Town in Western Cape Province Coordinates: , Country Province Municipality City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality Founded 1652 Government [1]  - Type City council  - Mayor Helen Zille  - City manager Achmat Ebrahim Area  - City 2,499 km²  (964. ... The Cape Peninsula, False Bay (top) and Table Bay,with Robben Island (right), from space, February 1995. ... Cape Town, False Bay (top) and Table Bay (right) from space, February 1995. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 531 pixelsFull resolution (1760 × 1168 pixel, file size: 180 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 531 pixelsFull resolution (1760 × 1168 pixel, file size: 180 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ...

Maritime peril

Robben Island has been the nemesis of many a ship and its crew. The surf of the open Atlantic Ocean thunders continuously at its margins and any vessel wrecked on the reefs offshore is soon beaten to pieces and disappears. In the latter half of the 1600s a Dutch ship laden with gold coins earmarked for the payment of the salaries of employees of the Dutch East India Company in Batavia (now Indonesia) disintegrated on these reefs a short distance off shore, in relatively shallow but very restless waters. The gold today would be worth tens of millions of pounds sterling or U.S. dollars. A few coins have washed ashore over the centuries but the treasure itself remains in the ocean. It is protected largely by the almost ceaseless and violent surf. Many other vessels have been wrecked around the isle. Many inventions and institutions are created, including Hans Lippershey with the telescope (1608, used by Galileo the next year), the newspaper Avisa Relation oder Zeitung in Augsburg, and Cornelius Drebbel with the thermostat (1609). ... GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ... This article is about the trading company. ... This page is about the capital city of Indonesia. ... “GBP” redirects here. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... The Ocean Waves, see I Can Hear the Sea Ocean waves Ocean surface waves are surface waves that occur in the upper layer of the ocean. ...


The island today

All the land on the island is owned by the State, with the exception of the island church.


Today the island is a popular tourist destination and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. It is reached by ferry from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and is open throughout the year, weather permitting, and tours of the island and prison are led by guides who were formerly prisoners there. Robben Island Museum (RIM) operates as a site or living museum. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... This article is about the year. ... The ferryboat Dongan Hills, filled with commuters, about to dock at a New York City pier, circa 1945. ... V&A shopping complex Official V&A logo on flag View showing new Waterfront apartments The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in the historic heart of Cape Towns working harbour is South Africas most-visited destination, having the highest rate of foreign tourists of any attraction in the country. ...


Robben Island Lighthouse

Jan van Riebeeck first set a navigation aid atop Fire Hill (now Minto Hill), the highest point on the island, where the lighthouse stands today. Hugh bonfires were lit at night to warn VOC ships of the rocks which surround the island. The current Robben Island lighthouse, built in 1863, is 18 metres high and was converted to electricity in 1938. It is the only South African lighthouse to utilise a flashing light instead of a revolving light. Its light can be seen from 25 kilometres away.


The Moturu Kramat

The Moturu Kramat, a sacred site for Muslim pilgrimage on Robben Island, was built in 1969 to commemorate Sayed Adurohman Moturu, the Prince of Madura. Moturu, one of Cape Town's first 'imans', was exiled to the island in the mid 1740s and died there in 1754. Muslim political prisoners would pay homage at the shrine before leaving the island.


Animal life

When the Dutch arrived in the area about 400 years ago, the only large animals on the island were seals and birds. In about 1960, or a little before, the warden of the island introduced a few antelope that were native to the coastal dunes nearby and also a few giant tortoises, which were not. The tortoises probably originated in the Galapagos Islands or the Seychelles and came from the zoo on the slopes of Devil's Peak in Cape Town, where they have lived in captivity for at least 150 years. It is not clear whether these animals still exist on the island. Families Odobenidae Otariidae Phocidae Pinnipeds (fin-feet, lit. ... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Genera Aepyceros Alcelaphus Antidorcas Antilope Cephalophus Connochaetes Damaliscus Gazella Hippotragus Kobus Madoqua Neotragus Oreotragus Oryx Ourebia Pantholops Procapra Sylvicapra Taurotragus Tragelaphus and others Antelope are herbivorous mammals of the family Bovidae, often noted for their horns. ... Giant tortoises are characteristic of certain reptilian tropical island wildlife. ... NASA Satellite photo of the Galápagos archipelago. ... Giraffes in Sydneys Taronga Zoo A zoological garden, zoological park, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures and displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred. ... Devils Peak and Table Mountain from roughly the north. ...


The penguin colony

The penguin colony is a popular attraction. Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus), also known as the Blackfooted Penguin (and formerly as the Jackass Penguin), is found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with the largest colony...


List of former prisoners held at Robben Island

  • Ahmed Kathrada, former Rivonia Trialist and long-serving prisoner
  • Autshumato, one of the first freedom fighters against colonialism
  • Dennis Brutus, former activist and poet
  • Laloo Chiba, former accused at Little Rivonia Trial
  • Amos Masondo, current Mayor of Johannesburg
  • Chief Maqoma, former chief who died on the island in 1873
  • Langalibalele, one of the first freedom fighters against colonialism
  • Makana, one of the first freedom fighters against colonialism
  • Mosiuoa Lekota, imprisoned in 1974, current Minister of Defence
  • Nelson Mandela, African National Congress leader and former President of South Africa
  • Jeff Masemola, the first prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment in the apartheid era
  • Mac Maharaj, former accused at Little Rivonia Trial
  • Murphy Morobe, Soweto Uprising student leader
  • Nongqawuse, the Xhosa prophet responsible for the Cattle Killing
  • Maqana Nxele, former Xhosa prophet who drowned while trying to escape
  • Govan Mbeki, father of the current President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki
  • Wilton Mkwayi, former accused at Little Rivonia Trial
  • Sayed Adurohman Moturu, the Muslim Iman who was exiled on the island and died there in 1754
  • Joe Seremane, current chairperson of the Democratic Alliance.
  • Robert Sobukwe, former leader of the PAC
  • John Nyathi Pokela, co-founder and former chairman of the PAC
  • Tokyo Sexwale, businessman and aspirant leader of the African National Congress
  • Walter Sisulu, former ANC struggle hero
  • Jacob Zuma, former Deputy President of South Africa and aspirant leader of the ANC
  • Patrick Chamusso, former activist of the ANC

Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada (sometimes nicknamed Kathy) (born 21 August 1929[1]) is a South African politician and was an anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner. ... The Rivonia Trial was an infamous trial which took place in South Africa between 1963 and 1964, in which ten leaders of the African National Congress were tried for 221 acts of sabotage designed to ferment violent revolution. // Origins It was named after Rivonia, the suburb of Johannesburg where 19... Autshumato {or Autshumao) was a Khoikhoi leader who worked as an interpreter for the Europeans in present-day South Africa during the time of the establishment of the Dutch settlement on the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. ... Dennis Brutus, South African poet, graduate of Fort Hare college, formerly on the faculty of Northwestern University. ... The Little Rivonia Trial was a South African apartheid-era court case in which several members of the armed resistance group Umkhonto we Sizwe faced charges of sabotage. ... Amos Mosando (born 1953 - ) is the current mayor of the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. ... Mosiuoa Gerard Patrick Lekota (13 August 1948 -) is the current (as of 2006) South African Minister of Defence, a position he has held since 17 June 1999. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (IPA: ) (born 18 July 1918) is the former President of South Africa, and the first to be elected in fully representative democratic elections. ... Sathyandranath Ragunanan Mac Maharaj (born April 22, 1935 in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) is a South African politician affiliated to the African National Congress, academic and businessman of Indian origin. ... Murphy Morobe (born October 2, 1956, Soweto, South Africa was one of the student leaders of the Soweto Uprising in June, 1976. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Nongqawuse (right) with fellow prophetess, Nonkosi Nongqawuse (c. ... Govan Archibald Mvuyelwa Mbeki (1910 - 2001) was a South African politician, and father of Thabo Mbeki, the current President of South Africa. ... </ref> |dead=alive |death_date= |death_place= |spouse=Zanele Mbeki née Dlamini[2][3] |party=African National Congress[2] }} Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki (born June 18, 1942) is the current President of the Republic of South Africa. ... Wetshotsile Joseph Seremane is a South African politician and federal chairperson of the countrys main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA). ... The Democratic Alliance (DA) is a liberal South African political party, and the official opposition to the ruling African National Congress. ... Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (5 December 1924 ; 27 February 1978) was a South African political dissident, who founded the Pan Africanist Congress in opposition to the Apartheid regime. ... PAC symbol This article does not cite any references or sources. ... John Nyathi Poks Pokela (1922[1] or 1923[2]–June 1985) was a South African political activist and Chairman of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For political parties with similar names in other countries, see Northern Rhodesian African National Congress and Zambian African National Congress. ... Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu (May 18, 1912 – May 5, 2003) was a South African anti-apartheid activist and member of the African National Congress (ANC). ... Jacob Zuma Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (born Inkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, April 12, 1942) is a former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa and current deputy president of the governing political party, the African National Congress (ANC). ... For political parties with similar names in other countries, see Northern Rhodesian African National Congress and Zambian African National Congress. ... Patrick Chamusso (born 1949) is a former political prisoner, freedom fighter and member of the ANC party of South Africa. ... For political parties with similar names in other countries, see Northern Rhodesian African National Congress and Zambian African National Congress. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Robben Island

  Results from FactBites:
 
Robben Island, Cape Town (0 words)
Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town, is famous for the imprisonment of South Africa’s first democratic President, Nelson Mandela in its maximum-security prison and its association with apartheid.
Robben Island was a prison for indigenous African leaders, Muslim leaders from the East Indies, Dutch and British settler soldiers and civilians, women and anti-apartheid activists.
The island is also a sanctuary for bird life, with over 132 bird species and the ferry trip to the island offers a chance to spot some of the marine life.
Robben Island (588 words)
During the apartheid years Robben Island was used to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale.
Overcoming opposition from the prison authorities, prisoners on the Island after the 1960s were able to organise sporting events, political debates and educational programmes, and to assert their right to be treated as human beings, with dignity and equality.
Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m