Cape Town like you’ve never seen it before: 1940 – 1980

Cape Town has been voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, according to the Telegraph’s Travel.

The publication ranked Cape Town as the 12th most beautiful city in the world, describing the city’s sights and sounds as carrying “in-your-face beauty”.

The face of Cape Town has changed significantly over the decades, but the Mother City has always been one of South Africa’s most eye-catching locations.

Hobbyist photographer Etienne du Plessis has built an expansive online gallery of sights from the city – as they were in the early 1940s up to 1970.

According to Du Plessis, the photographs – hundreds of which can be found on his Flickr gallery – capture the city in a different time, and include possibly some of the oldest known colour images of the city.

Here are a few remarkable images of Cape Town like you’ve never seen it before (provided you weren’t around at the time).

Note: The images are not Du Plessis’ own work, but have been shared with permission from the copyright holders.

For the full gallery, and links to more vintage photos, check out the Flickr page.

Mouille Point lighthouse, 1925

Mouille Point lighthouse circa 1925.

Clifton, 1934

Clifton,  c1934.

Flower sellers, operating in Parliament Street, 1946

Flower sellers, June 1946.

Adderly Street, 1955

Adderley street, 1955.

University of Cape Town, 1950, 1956

UCT 1950

UCT, 1956

Sea Point, 1957

Beach Rd,Sea Point  1957.

Llandudno, 1959

Llandudno  c1959.

Cape Town City Hall on a bright winter’s day, 1961

Bright winter's  day on the Parade, 1961.

District Six, 1971, 1977

Not all of the images showcased look back on the Cape Town of the mid-20th century with rose-tinted nostalgia.

The two images below document the conditions of “black districts” where people of colour were forced to live during apartheid.

District six          1977.

District Six    1971.

Greenpoint, 1980

Green Point         1980.

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Cape Town like you’ve never seen it before: 1940 – 1980