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Robben Island is in the Western Cape of South Africa, approximately 7 km off the coast and 12 km from Cape Town harbour. This island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was used as a prison for opponents of Apartheid, including Nelson Mandela, and is now a museum.
The island was discovered by Europeans in 1488 when Bartolomeu Dias reached Table Bay. Soon afterward it was put to use as a prison by the Portuguese, British and Dutch. From 1652 the island also served as a refreshment station for ships that did not wish to visit the mainland.
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