I only recently visited Rhodes Memorial for the first time. I always knew it was a pretty place in the southern suburbs where people pose for photographs on their wedding day. When I did a bit research on Rhodes Memorial, I wondered why people would want to take their wedding pictures there.
The memorial, built of Cape granite quarried on Table Mountain, is named after Cecil John Rhodes (1853 – 1902), an English-born South African politician. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker. The memorial is situation on Rhodes’s favourite spot on Devil’s Peak. It has a staircase of 49 steps, one for each year of Rhodes’s life. At the bottom of the steps is a bronze statue of a horseman. Eight bronze lions flank the steps leading up to the memorial.
At the memorial you are surrounded by nature, which is calming and beautiful. Looking down on Cape Town is amazing. Now, more about the man himself….
Rhodes was a mining magnate and founded De Beers, a diamond company. He was a strong believer in British colonialism and founded Rhodesia, which was named after him in 1895. Rhodes University is also named after him.
Rhodes can be described as racist. He wanted to expand the British Empire because he believed the Anglo-Saxon race was destined to greatness. In his last will and testament, Rhodes said of the British: “I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives.”