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Devil's Peak

Devil's Peak seen from Observatory  © Andrew Massyn, License

Devil's Peak

Devil's Peak forms part of the mountainous backdrop to Cape Town. When looking at Table Mountain from the V&A Waterfront, or when looking at the standard picture postcard view of the mountain, the skyline is from left to right: the spire of Devil's Peak, the flat mesa of Table Mountain, the dome of Lion's Head and Signal Hill.

At the base of Devil's Peak, on the Northern side, you'll find 49 steps, guarded by eight scary looking lions. On the Eastern side, you'll find the only working windmill in Africa, Mostert’s Mill, which was built in 1796. You'll also find the Groote Schuur hospital, founded in 1938, where the first human heart transplants took place.

According to most Cape Town residents, Devil’s Peak got its name from the popular legend of the Dutch pirate Van Hunks and his smoking duel with the Devil. That’s partly true – but what you probably don’t know is that the legend is a recent invention. You see, the Ballad of Jan Van Hunks was only published in 1909, but the residents of Cape Town have been accusing the Devil’s Peak of escorting the Cape Southeaster for a lot longer.

Devils Peak was actually first called Windberg by the early Dutch settlers. But it was also known as Duiwepiek, Duiwekop or Duiwenberg and early maps refer to it by both these names.

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