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AMAZING ATTRACTIONS

AMAZING ATTRACTIONS

AMAZING ATTRACTIONS
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Johannesberg, a cosmopolitan city has various facets to itself. On one hand itʼs a happening city which is abuzz with casinos, malls, entertainment centres, clubs, stadia and on the other hand, it ʼs also a city which has museums and the industry. A few features that make this city more than a usual cosmopolitan are:

 

 

STERKFONTIEN CAVES

About 50 kms north west from Johannesberg are situated Starkfontein Caves. These are the richest and most productive palaeoanthropological sites in the world. Within these caves, scientists have discovered many hominid and other animal fossils that date back 4 million years. The sterkfontein caves are owned by the University of Witwatersrand whose scientists have been responsible for the main excavations of the World Heritage

Site. Designed to blend into the unspoilt natural landscape, the Sterkfontein Visitor Centre sits among indigenous grassland which gives way to plants and trees concentrated towards the top of the koppie where the main cave lies. Signposted with 20 meter tall concrete monolith, the visitors centre houses an extraordinary hominin exhibition hall with highly informative displays, a 128-seat auditorium, a charming souvenir shop and a restaurant offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

This cave-like complex leads to a walkway from which excavations can be viewed as well as a working laboratory where one may observe scientists examining fossil finds. These caves are credited with many of the famous discoveries including the world famous “Mrs Ples”, “Taung baby” and the “Little Foot”. In 1924, Raymond Dart, an Australian anatomy professor at the the University of Witwatersrand obtained a fossil skull that had been blasted out of a nearby limestone quarry at Taung. He recognised the importance of his find and after laborious cleaning of the skull from its stone matrix, he named it Australopithecus africanus.

Because of its small size, he called it the “Taung baby”. One of the features that he pointed out was that this species was intermediate between apes and humans. But Dart ʼs claims were not widely accepted until the late 1940s. Robert Broom in 1947 pieced together a hominin skull and called it Plesianthropus transvaalensis. As the name was long and Broom claimed it was a female, it was called “Mrs Ples” and scientists eventually believed that this skull belonged to Australopithecus africanus thereby proving Dart ʼs theory right. “Little Foot” is an almost complete hominin skeleton and a very significant discovery which was started by Alan Hugh but was completed by Ron Clarke. The fact that the bones of the foot were pieced together first in this long journey of piecing the whole skeleton together was the reason that it was called “Little Foot”. Archeological finds also include 2 million year old stone tools. The oldest recorded, at Swartkrans, near the Sterkfontien caves is a collection of 270 burnt bones that reveals how our ancestors learned to master fire more than 1-million years ago. Today Sterfontein is recognised as the most longstanding continuous palaeoanthropological dig in the entire world.

APARTHEID MUSEUM

The Apartheid Museum is the story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Beginning in 1948, the white elected National Party government initiated a process which turned over 20 million people into 2nd class citizens, damning them to a life of servitude, humiliation and abuse. Their liberation in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela, is a climax in the saga of a nations resistance, courage and fortitude. The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. The museum has been assembled and organised by a multi disciplinary team of curators, film makers, historians and designers. The museum occupies 6000 square meters space on a seven hectare site which consists of natural recreated veld and indigenous bush habitat containing a lake and paths, along side a stunning building.

A visit to this museum is an overwhelming experience. Some of its stark features are a drive in a yellow casspir in which you can sit and watch footage taken from inside the vehicle driving through the townships, a room which has 121 nooses dangling from the roof representing the prisoners who were hanged, a cage full of dreadful weapons which were used by the security forces to enforce apartheid, a footage of a remarkable 1961 BBC interview with Nelson Mandela when he was hiding and a footage of prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd addressing people in English explaining how the country can be better ruled only when the races are separated.

The museum leads the visitors from room to room telling stories which stimulate the minds to think that apartheid was not only immoral but pure evil. And as the minds become sombre, it then takes the visitors to the present South Africa which is free from apartheid and has a constitution which gives equal rights to everyone and has no place for inequality on the basis of race and colour. The Museum not only tells the story of the apartheid but also how it has been overcome.

The multimedia displays in the museum are not static, infact they give a chance to the visitors to interact and contribute. There is a recording studio where people can narrate their stories about their experiences of inequality. The visitors are also encouraged to share their historical artefacts significant to the apartheid era so that they can be displayed in the museum. For anyone who wishes to understand and experience what South Africa was really like, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is fundamental. The museum is a beacon of hope showing how South Africa is coming to terms with the past and is working towards a future which all South Africans can call their own.

 

The museum leads the visitors from room to room telling stories which stimulate the minds to think that apartheid was not only immoral but pure evil. And as the minds become sombre, it then takes the visitors to the present South Africa which is free from apartheid and has a constitution which gives equal rights to everyone and has no place for inequality on the basis of race and colour. The Museum not only tells the story of the apartheid but also how it has been overcome.

JOHANNESBERG – MOSAIC OF HISTORY, SPORTS AND CULTURE

The multimedia displays in the museum are not static, infact they give a chance to the visitors to interact and contribute. There is a recording studio where people can narrate their stories about their experiences of inequality. The visitors are also encouraged to share their historical artefacts significant to the apartheid era so that they can be displayed in the museum. For anyone who wishes to understand and experience what South Africa was really like, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is fundamental. The museum is a beacon of hope showing how South Africa is coming to terms with the past and is working towards a future which all South Africans can call their own.

SPORTY JOHANNESBERG

South africa is the home of world-class sporting facilities capable of accommodating tens of thousands of spectators. The best example of an excellent sports infrastructure is the hosting of Indian Premier League Twenty Twenty in 2009 at a month ʼs notice. Johannesberg has a fair share of stadia in place for any kind of sport, be it football, rugby and cricket! Some of the well known stadia that give Johannesberg a fervent sporty flavour are listed.

COCA-COLA PARK (ELLIS PARK)

This was formerly known as Ellis park and was built in 1927. This stadium played host to the largest ever crowd of rugby game in South Africa in 1955 when 100,000 spectators saw the Springboks go down 23-22 to the British Lions. The stadium was rebuilt in 1979-1980. Today it is a top-class venue equipped with excellent facilities. It plays host to many big concerts. Whilst it is recognized primarily as a rugby ground, Ellis Park has also played host to some of the worldʼs greatest football teams and was in particular host to a quarter final match in FIFA 2010.

FNB STADIUM (SOCCER CITY)

Built in 1987, South Africa ʼs national soccer stadium has played host to some of the most memorable matches in the country ʼs history. It is the stadium where South Africa defeated Congo to qualify for the World cup finals for the first time, and it also boasts of being the venue where the first mass rally was held to celebrate Nelson Mandela ʼs release from the prison in 1990 which drew over 100,000 people. This stadium was the main venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies and the World Cup final.

ORLANDO STADIUM

 

This stadium is home to the Premier Soccer League club, Orlando Pirates, one of the most popular clubs in South Africa.It wasn ʼt used for any matches during 2010 FIFA World Cup, but was used for training by the World Cup participants. It was renovated and now has an auditorium,a conference centre, a gymnasium and hospitality suites

WANDERERS CRICKET STADIUM

This stadium is South Africa ʼs largest test venue capable of hosting 34000 spectators. This stadium proved to be a vibrant venue for cricket when in 1991 the country started competing against the entire world and not just Australia, England and New Zealand. The Wanderers was in the spotlight again in 2003 when it hosted the final of cricket ʼs biggest event, World Cup

THEATRE IN JOHANNESBERG

Johannesberg is widely considered to be one of South Africa ʼs most vibrant and diverse cultural centres. With a large number of of educational institutions in the city, many of which encourage innovative self-expression, it is no wonder that Johannesberg has a thriving visual and performing arts community. Among Johannesberg ʼs most popular theatres are the Liberty Theater on the Square in Sandton, the Nelson Mandela Theater in the Johannesberg Theater Complex in Braamfontein, the Monetecasino Theater in Fourways and the Market Theater Complex in the Newton Precinct.

AMAZING ATTRACTIONS
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About Compilation Of Readers Contribution

Compilation Of Readers Contribution
As Newsletters are sent out every month, various readers send through articles as contributors which is often used in new Newsletter editions.

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