First Recorded European
Habitation in South Africa

In the winter of 1630, a large Portuguese ship the São Gonçales broke up
in a severe storm while hove for repairs off Robberg Beach.


All then on board perished. About 100 others had been encamped on the beach, becoming South Africa’s first recorded European inhabitants, who built small boats which enabled them to depart nine months later, but leaving porcelain and other relics that are now on permanent public display at the Municipality offices in Sewell Street.