This city had never been a tourist destination. Its creation resulted from the needs of the gold mining in the late nineteenth century and that is why Johannesburg is not near any river, port and crossroads, which could provide some beautiful countryside and its recent history has left no monuments reputation.
However, the city has become a symbol of the struggle of man against racial segregation, in addition to being the starting point for visiting one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Johannesburg was founded in 1866 after the discovery of gold in Witwatersand, which soon became a large city that reached more than 100,000 in a decade. The Zulus called eGoli this area, the land of gold, for its rich ore, though the majority of farms in the area have been exhausted, in a radius of 120 kilometers still draws half the world’s gold .
This is the third largest city in Africa after Cairo and Lagos, with nearly 8 million people if we have the metropolitan area, including suburbs such as Soweto.
Johannesburg can be divided into five parts, of which the center is characterized by its large skyscraper architecture hosting the headquarters of many businesses, hotels and banks. Since the end of the racist regime many of the suburbs have moved to this area of Johannesburg, which has caused the abandonment of the white population of many buildings. This fact has been exploited by the poorest inhabitants of the city to seek cheaper housing, occupying abandoned buildings.
Southwest of the center is Soweto, short for South West Township, a suburb created during the apartheid regime to house families evicted from the areas where the government had ordered to build settlements for whites, as Sophiatown. Today, Soweto is still one of the poorest parts of the city, but is signs of economic improvement and has become one of the city’s famous nightlife. If you access this part of town, it is imperative to visit the Art Gallery.
Socio demographic changes occurring in recent years in the downtown area have led to the displacement of white people (and rich) to other parts of Johannesburg, mainly in the north, where sits the suburb of Parktown in that we find numerous examples of Edwardian-style mansions. Also in northern Johannesburg and Sandton are Mornigside, the new financial center of the city.
West of Parktown is Auckland Park, Johannesburg and University area near here Melville, an area in the bohemian atmosphere that is rife with restaurants, cafes and pubs.
To the west of Melville is Sophiatown, one of the banners of the struggle of black people. The protests against the racist oppression of the government prompted the attempted expulsion of blacks from the suburbs that are organized by Huddleston, Mandela, Helen Joseph and Ruth First, resisted the police onslaught until 1963, when the government destroyed the entire site lifting a settlement only to whites called Triumph.
Despite its recent turbulent history, perhaps too lively, Johannesburg is more than a destination, a transit point that connects to the typical places in South Africa, like Cape Town, Durban and the Kruger National Park.
Still, the passage of tourists left Johannesburg for about 1.5 billion dollars in the many shopping centers with which the city.
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