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The Fort de Goede Hoop ('Fort of Good Hope') was the first military building to be erected in what is now Cape Town. It was built in 1652, and was in use until 1674 when it was superseded by the Castle of Good Hope.
The Fort was built by the Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company), when it established a replenishment station under Jan van Riebeeck on the shore of Table Bay in 1652. Constructed of earth and timber, it was square, with a pointed bastion at each corner. The bastions were named Drommedaris, Walvisch, Oliphant, and Reijger. The bastions were named after the ships in Van Riebeeck's fleet.
Within the Fort were living quarters, kitchens, a council chamber (which was also used for church services), a sick bay, workshops, and storerooms. Cannons were placed on the ramparts. A nearby stream was diverted and channeled to form a moat around the fort. Being built of earth, the Fort needed frequent maintenance and repairs, especially after heavy rains.
In January 1666, work began on a stone fortress to replace the Fort. It took eight years to build, and it was not until 1674 that it was ready for occupation. On 2 May 1674, the council resolved to demolish the Fort, except for some stores which were retained for a while longer, until their contents had been moved into the Castle.