Cape Town, South Africa, the nation's legislative capital, one of its largest cities and ports, and the capital of Western Cape Province. It fronts on Table Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, and is about 30 miles (48 km) north of the Cape of Good Hope. Table Mountain, with an elevation of 3,567 feet (1,087 m), overlooks the city and its many suburbs.
Cape Town is the commercial center for a rich farming region that produces fruit, wheat, sheep, and cattle. Some of the main industries are the processing of agricultural products and fish; the manufacture of textiles, clothing, and shoes; and ship repairing. Several railway lines terminate in the city.
The Houses of Parliament, historic churches and cathedrals, and the Castle, a fortress built in the 17th century, are among Cape Town's landmarks. Cultural facilities include the South African Museum, the South African National Gallery, and the Municipal Symphony Orchestra. The University of Cape Town is here.
Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa. Founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, it became a major supply station for ships sailing to and from Asia. The British ruled the city from 1795 to 1803 and from 1806 to 1910, when the Union of South Africa was formed and Cape Town was made the parliamentary capital.