For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 km from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation & imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts & the unwanted of society. Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological & political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom & personal liberation.
Robben Island came to symbolize, not only for South Africa & the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship & adversity. Since 1997 it has been a museum. The museum is a dynamic institution, which acts as a focal point of South African heritage. It runs educational programmes for schools, youths & adults, facilitates tourism development, conducts ongoing research related to the Island & fulfils an archiving function.