Rhodes Memorial tribute to Cecil John Rhodes

The Rhodes Memorial on Devil’s Peak pays tribute to politician Cecil John Rhodes, who left his mark in Zimbabwe and Zambia, previously named Rhodesia after him, and in South Africa.

Rhodes was a British mining magnate who was Prime Minister of the British-ruled Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896. After colonising Rhodesia his dream was to create a Cape to Cairo Railway line through British territory in Africa, but he did not succeed. He did however dominate the world diamond industry with his De Beers diamond company, which still exists.

The Rhodes Memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, and is located close to the University of Cape Town. It was completed 110 years ago, on land which belonged to him before he bequeathed it to the nation. The design of the Memorial was inspired by a Greek temple. It has a staircase with 49 steps, one for each of the years of Rhodes’ life, with eight bronze lions flanking the steps. The Memorial now forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, and is the starting point for hiking and walking up the mountain.

A statue of Rhodes can also be found in The Company’s Garden. Rhodes’ home is a National Monument, and has been turned into the Rhodes Cottage Museum in Muizenberg. The Rhodes University in Grahamstown is named after him. The prestigious Rhodes Scholarship is funded by his estate, enabling 102 top post-graduate students from around the world to study at Oxford University every year.


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