Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. The site is a former prison and military fort that bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past and, today, is home to the country’s Constitutional Court, which endorses the rights of all citizens.
There is perhaps no other site of incarceration in South Africa that imprisoned the sheer number of world-renowned men and women as those held within the walls of the Old Fort, the Women's Jail and Number Four. Nelson Mandela. Mahatma Gandhi. Joe Slovo. Albertina Sisulu. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Fatima Meer.
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Experience the whole of Constitution Hill – the Old Fort, the Women`s Jail, Number Four and the Constitutional Court – on our full, two-hour tour.
This holistic tour comes to the heart of what Constitution Hill is all about, exploring the precinct’s complex history, its mutations through time, the humiliations and injustices to which its inmates were subjected, and offering an explanation as to why the court’s presence in this place is so meaningful.
Our highlights tour is an hour long and alternates each hour, visiting the Women`s Jail, Number Four and the Constitutional Court one hour, and the Old Fort, Number Four and the Constitutional Court the next.
This tour is particularly useful for organised tours, visitors arriving on the City Sightseeing red bus and those with limited time. After the tour, you are welcome to explore the rest of the precinct on your own.
Conhill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. It is a former prison and military fort that bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past and today is home to the Constitutional Court. We are taking part in the first Johannesburg Museum Night.
It is a program of 8 museums and institutions in and around the city which are free to the public. There will be guided tours at Conhill on the hour from 17h00.
The last tour will be at 21h00.
The Constitutional Court Trust owns and maintains an extraordinary collection of artworks donated by prominent artists and other benefactors to celebrate the court’s role in South Africa`s transition to democracy.
The collection was primarily assembled by Justice Albie Sachs. It includes artworks by such high-profile artists. a. The collection is more than an aesthetic addition to the Constitutional Court building, it is a unique collection of South African and international heritage that contributes to education, critical debate and research on the roles of the Constitution and the court.The tour begins at 6pm at the main entrance to the court and lasts for approximately 90 mins
This experiential Time Travel tour is inspired by the events around the arrest of the youth on 16 June 1976, a time of heightened political tension across South Africa and one borne out in the country’s prisons, particularly Constitution Hill.
It tour begins with prisoner uniforms and officially registering as prisoners. Men and women are separated and marched through the precinct by their warden-come-guides, who ensure they undertake tasks specific to male and female prisoners. At the end of the tour, the two groups will reconvene for a tour of the Constitutional Court. Our Time Travel tour includes lunch at The Hill restaurant.
Only available at Visitors Centre, no Online Bookings.
South Africa`s Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land, is a building rich in symbolism in line with the theme of lekgotla, which refers to the traditional African custom of conducting justice beneath the branches of a tree.
The tour begins with the story behind the now-demolished Awaiting Trial Block, the bricks of which were used to build the court; before moving into the court foyer and finally into the court chamber itself. The Constitutional Court tour is conducted by a court expert, who not only discusses the importance of the court in South Africa`s constitutional dispensation but also the significance of the building`s architecture and artworks. Visitors are welcome to
Nowhere can the story of South Africa`s turbulent past and its extraordinary transition to democracy be told as it is at Constitution Hill. In 1995, the historic decision was taken to locate the Constitutional Court of South Africa in Johannesburg’s oldest prison site in the inner city of Johannesburg. The four separate prisons on the site are over 100 years old. They were places of horrific degradation and torture which imprisoned political prisoners but mainly thousands of ordinary black South Africans whose only crime was disobeying one of the many discriminatory laws of the day. The site provides the opportunity for learners to gain an understanding of how colonialism and apartheid was.