History

     

The Bo-Kaap was formerly known, as the Malay Quarter,  situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre it has been the traditional home of Cape Town’s Muslim population since the second half of the eighteenth century.
The streets of the Bo-Kaap are lined with picturesque terraced houses, along cobbled lanes. The houses are a mixture of Cape Dutch and Cape Georgian architectural styles and this, combined with the Islamic faith, culture and eastern origin of the majority of its inhabitants, has given the Bo-Kaap an ambience that visitors find both captivating and exotic. The first members of this vital constituent of Cape society arrived from the Malayan Archpilago, then known as the East Indies, before the end of the seventeenth century. They included convicts, slaves and political exiles, some of the latter being people of high rank and culture, 
This influx is of course closely connected with the construction of several mosques in the area after 1840. There are at least nine mosques in the Bo-Kaap, the oldest being the Auwal Mosque in Dorp Street. On the hillside behind the houses there are also several kramats, or tombs, containing the remains of much-respected religious leaders. Probably the most prominent buried on the Tana Baru is Tuan Guru or Imaum Abdullah Kadi Abdus Salaam. Tuan Guru is also regarded as the pioneer of the Cape Ulema (religious scholars), and certainly the first “Kadi” or “Chief Imam” at the Cape.

We hope that as you cast your gaze on our magnificent Table Mountain and indulge in the tasty foods prepared by us you will in some small way imbibe the essence of the history, culture, customs and traditions of the people who settled here mare than 300 years ago.