Robben Island in South Africa is an island about 7 kilometers west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, north of Cape Town. An oval shaped island only few meters above the sea level formed as a result of an ancient erosion event.
The Robben Island was used as a prison from 17th Century until 1996, used for keeping political prisoners. The great political activist Nelson Mandela was also imprisoned here for 18 years before the fall of apartheid. UNESCO has listed Robben Island as a World Heritage site and is the National Heritage Site of South Africa.
The island was discovered by Bartolomeu Dias a Portuguese explorer, in 1488. It was used by Portuguese Navigators for many years. Later it was used by English and Dutch as a refueling station. Its name in Dutch means “Seal Island”.
Robben Island is the symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, suffering and injustice. It is visited every year by thousands of people eager to understand and honour the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the island represents.
The buildings of Robben Island bear eloquent witness to its somber history. The prison buildings symbolize the triumph of the human spirit, of freedom and of democracy over oppression.
Know more about Robben Island here