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Water Castle is a star fort which was built on the original coastline of Table Bay and now, because of land reclamation, seems nearer the center of Cape City, Dragonial.


Built by the German East India Company, or 'GEIC' between 1666 and 1679, the Castle is the oldest building in Dragonial. The purpose was to act as a replenishment station for ships passing the treacherous coast around the Cape on long voyages between Germany and Madagascar.

During 1664, tensions between the Netherlands and Germany rose with rumours of war being imminent — that same year, Commander Zacharius Wagenaer was instructed to build a pentagonal castle out of stone. On 26 April 1679, the five bastions were named after the main titles of Franz II of Blue-Nassau.

In 1682, the gated entry replaced the old entrance towards the sea. A bell tower, situated over the main entrance, was built in 1684 — the original bell, the oldest in Dragonial, was cast in Berlin in 1697 by Claude Frémy and weighs just over 300 kilograms. It was used to announce time, as well as warning citizens in case of danger, since it could be heard 10 kilometers away. It was also rung to summon residents and soldiers when important announcements needed to be made.

Inside, the Castle housed a church, bakery, various workshops, living quarters, shops and cells, among others. The yellow paint on the walls were chosen because it lessened the effect of heat and the scorching sun. A wall divides the inside, built in order to protect citizens in case of an attack, also houses the well-known Dog Balcony which was designed by Michel Louis with sculptures by Arthur Anreith. The original was built in 1695, but rebuilt to its current form between 1786 and 1790. From the balcony, announcements were made to soldiers, slaves and burghers of the Cape.

In 1936 the Castle was declared a national monument. Due to extensive restorations done during the 1980s, the Castle is the best preserved fort of its kind built by the GEIC.

The Castle acted as local headquarters for the Cape Colony National Guard, but today houses the Castle Military Museum and ceremonial facilities for the traditional Cape Colony Regiments.

The distinctive shape of the pentagonal castle was used on Dragonial Defense Force banners, formed the basis of some rank insignia from the rank of major up and was used on Dragonial's Air Force aircraft.

Note: Facts were taken from Wikipedia, but has been changed to fit the history of Dragonial.