The Company Gardens in Cape Town

A haven of natural beauty in the heart of the city
By: Taj Cape Town
Oct. 26, 2009 - PRLog -- Secreted away from the bustling streets are the Company Gardens of Cape Town, the grounds that once served as a vegetable garden for the city's earliest settlers. With its fish ponds, aviaries and fragrant rose gardens, the Company Gardens are one of Cape Town's most beloved attractions. The new Taj Hotel, situated in trendy St George's Mall, offers exquisite views of the grounds, which are just a short walk from the luxury hotel.

From the avenues of the Gardens, visitors enjoy easy access to Cape Town's major museums, including the South African National Museum and Planetarium, the National Gallery and the Jewish Museum. Kids will love feeding the squirrels that dart through the avenue, while adults can enjoy superb photographic and sightseeing opportunities.

The Company Gardens also feature historic statues, Japanese gardens, and a quaint tearoom, where visitors can enjoy refreshments and local fare under the shade of sweeping trees.

From vegetable patch to oasis in the city
In a city where much of the excitement revolves around swanky restaurants, shopping malls and interactive entertainment, the Company Gardens provide a blissful respite from the bustle.

"Establishing a luxury hotel so close to the Company Gardens is a real treat for our guests," says Theo Cromhout, Sales and Marketing Manager for Taj Hotels in South Africa. "It's one of the Cape's most famous attractions, and our guests will have it right on their doorstep. It's a wonderful place to enjoy the Cape Town weather, and take in the views of Table Mountain."

Established by Jan van Riebeeck over 350 years ago, the Gardens were planted in order to sustain the colonists in the region. Initially, the Garden was cultivated nearer to the coast; however, to protect it from the notorious Cape winds, van Riebeeck relocated the Gardens to where they stand today. Although they dried up in the 18th century, the Gardens were restored some time later, and were to prosper until the current day.

Nowadays, local and international visitors alike enjoy these public gardens, where they feed peanuts to the squirrels, stroll through the avenue, or simply enjoy the fresh air as they take in beautiful views of the mountain.

Interesting facts about the Cape Town Company Gardens

•   More than 700,000 people visit the Company Gardens annually.
•   It's the oldest public garden in South Africa.
•   There are an estimated 8,000 species of vegetation growing in the Gardens.
•   The Gardens boast the oldest pear tree in South Africa - cultivated since 1652!
•   An old fully-functioning sundial is one of the Gardens' top attractions.
•   The Company Gardens feature an aviary containing several species of birds - kids love it!
•   The rose garden was established in 1929, and still features the original design (although perhaps not the original blooms!).
•   More than R1-million has been pledged to the upgrading of the Gardens.

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The Taj Cape Town is the first Taj Hotel in South Africa and offers guests luxury accommodation in the Cape Town city centre within walking distance from historic attractions such as the Company Gardens and Adderley Street.
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