This gallery really consists of 4 separate areas because there are really 4 distinct places to see at Constitutional Hill. Starting with the Court, then moving onto The Fort, Number 4 Jail and finally the Womens Jail.
“The Constitutional Court is the home of the Constitution, the highest court in the land. Like the Constitution itself, the court was designed to be open, accessible and transparent. The court is built around the remaining stairwells of the old awaiting trail block. The foyer of the court is a light filled area populated by slanting columns, an architectural metaphor for trees under which the African villagers traditionally congregate to discuss matters of social importance to the elders. Any member of the public may attend court hearings, or may enter the building to view the many individually commissioned artworks on display…”
|[ Page 1 ]||[ Page 2 ]||[ Page 3 ]|
|[ Page 4 ]||[ Newtown ]||[ Braamfontein ]|
The ramparts of the old Fort were built by Paul Kruger from 1893 to protect the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek (ZAR) from the threat of British invasion, and to keep watch over miners flocking to the village below. Reverting to a jail after the Anglo Boer War, all male prisoners passed through the foreboding tunnel beneath the ramparts, but only whites were held in the fort itself. The luckless African male prisoners being held at the “Number Four” jail not too far away. The sloping entrance tunnel was the last view that many prisoners would have of the outside world before being taken into the buildings behind the earthen ramparts.The rooms under the ramparts were used as magazines, stores and sleeping quarters but not for cells.
Number Four is the jail where thousands of male African prisoners were incarcerated and brutalised, many of whom were guilty of minor infringements of ridiculous petty legislation, others for political views, and some were hardened criminals.
The Womens Jail was built in 1909, and is next to the old fort. Many of the women held here were guilty of minor infringements of ridiculous petty legislation, others for political views. The jail was segregated by race and based on a panopticon design where cell blocks radiated off a central hub.
© DRW 2012-2018. Created 15/03/2012. Moved to blog 14/09/2014