is an area of Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...
, South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...
formerly known as the Malay Quarter
. It is quintessentially a Township, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill
Signal Hill aka Lion's Rump, is a landmark flat-topped hill located in Cape Town, next to Lion's Head and Table Mountain.The hill is also known as "The Lion's Flank", but this term is obsolete...
above the city centre and is an historical centre of Cape Malay
The Cape Malay community is an ethnic group or community in South Africa. It derives its name from the present-day Western Cape of South Africa and the people originally from Maritime Southeast Asia, mostly Javanese from modern-day Indonesia, a Dutch colony for several centuries, and Dutch...
culture in Cape Town. The Nurul Islam Mosque
The Nurul Islam Mosque is a mosque in the Bo-Kaap area of Cape Town, South Africa. When it was founded in 1844, the structure could hold 150 worshipers. Renovated in 2001, it can now hold 700 worshipers....
, established in 1844, is located in the area.
Bo-Kaap is traditionally a multicultural area, rich in history and situated on the slopes of Signal Hill. The area is known for its romantic cobble stoned streets.
The museum, which dates back to the 1760s, is the oldest house in the area still in its original form. It highlights the cultural contribution made by early Muslim settlers, many of whom were skilled tailors, carpenters, shoe makers and builders. It contains 19th century furnishings which include a fine Cape drop-leaf dining table, Cape Regency-style chairs and a bridal chamber decorated to match the bride's dress.
The museum is distinguishable by its voorstoep—a type of front terrace
A terrace is an outdoor, occupiable extension of a building above ground level. Although its physical characteristics may vary to a great degree, a terrace will generally be larger than a balcony and will have an "open-top" facing the sky...
with a bench at each end emphasizing the polarizing aspect of Cape Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...
As a result of Cape Town's economic development and expansion, and after the demise of forced racial segregation under apartheid, property in the Bo-Kaap has become very sought after, not only for its location but also for its picturesque cobble-streets and unique architecture. Increasingly, this close-knit community is "facing a slow dissolution of its distinctive character as wealthy outsiders move into the suburb to snap up homes in the City Bowl at cut-rate prices". Inter-community conflict has also arisen as some residents object to the sale of buildings and the resultant eviction of long-term residents.