Thibault Square – European-style piazza at the heart of central Cape Town
Thibault Square is situated at the Foreshore end of St George’s Mall in Cape Town’s city centre. The square, surrounded by some of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, is a favourite chill out spot of nearby office workers, who flock to its cafés and coffee shops at lunchtime.
I was hugely surprised when visiting Thibault Square for the first time. The Cape Town Partnership, on its website, describes the feel of the space as that of a “definitive downtown public square.” I’m inclined to agree. It’s magnificent – a perfectly formed, paved piazza at the heart of Cape Town’s Central Business District. A stroll through Thibault Square is not unlike strolling through a piece of Europe.
The prominent steel and bronze sculpture near the western exit to Riebeeck Street, is a John Skotnes piece titled Mythological Landscape. This celebration of diversity was erected in the early nineties, an early example of contemporary art commissioned for display in a Cape Town public space.
The sculpture provides a focal point to the square, but it’s the high-rise buildings that dominate. The LG Building (formerly the BP Centre) at 1 Thibault Square is Cape Town’s second tallest skyscraper.
Thibault Square can be found between Hans Strijdom Avenue and Riebeeck Street to the northeast and southwest respectively, and Long Street and Adderley Street / Heerengracht to the northwest and southeast respectively. It’s the perfect place to start a walking tour of the city centre.