Robben Island

Name Robben Island
Structure 18 metre circular masonry tower painted white
Other Features
Date Installed 1 January 1865
Description Robben Island is a tiny island which lies 9 km to the North of the City of Cape Town. It was the site of South Africa's original light beacon; pitch rings burning on top of a pole, which was established in 1657 by none other than Jan van Riebeeck. This island was however known to Europeans before.
Portuguese explorers had landed here in 1575 and discovered an unspoilt natural paradise teaming with birds seals and penguins. In fact the island derives its name from the Dutch word for seals - robben. During the early European settlement, Robben Island was valued for its security. In 1658 van Riebeeck established a penal colony on the island and it was declared a maximum security prison.
This little island is steeped in history. It has a leper church and many historic buildings that were built over the centuries. There are bunkers and large guns built by the British during World War II.
Along the coast of this tiny island one can find many shipwrecks, some which have started to decay beyond all recognition.
Robben Island is synonymous with the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. It is now no longer a prison but a museum and is fast becoming a popular tourist destination.
You can buy a miniature Robben Island lighthouse from our online shop!

Light Type Electric
Light Character Occulating, one flash of five seconds duration every seven seconds
Light Range 24 sea miles
Light Power 464 000 CD
Height of focal Plane 47 metres above high water

Position 38 48 52.20 South, 18 22 29.25 East