Maritime Underwater Cultural Heritage OVERVIEW
Robben Island is also an important part of South Africa’s maritime history, evident from the large of number of shipwrecks around the coast of the Island. These maritime wrecks provide further to support the 500 year history of the Island. Today, some shipwrecks can still be seen on Robben Island’s coastline. The shipwrecks all form part of the Island’s cultural and historical landscape. The Island, a submerged mountain linked to the Cape mainland by an underground saddle, made its coastline inhospitable to shipping because of the submerged rocks that lie around it.
There are over 70 documented shipwrecks scattered around the Island. Most of the shipwrecks were identified as European in origin and occurred on the western side of the Island which has a jagged rocky profile. This side is also known as the windward side.