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City (pop., 2005 est., urban agglom.: 3,103,000), legislative capital of the Republic of South Africa. It is also the capital of Western Cape province. Located on Table Bay, Cape Town has long been an important regional port. The first settlement at Table Bay, it was founded in the 17th century by the Dutch navigator Jan van Riebeeck for the Dutch East India Company, and it soon served as a stopover for ships plying the Europe-to-India route. It was under Dutch rule intermittently until it was taken by the British in 1806. Today it is a commercial and cultural centre. See alsoPretoria; Bloemfontein.
Variants of CAPE TOWN
Cape Town Afrikaans Kaapstad
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Cape Town, visit Britannica.com.