Greenmarket Square is a historical square in the centre of old Cape Town, South Africa. The square was built in 1696, when a burgher watch house was erected. Over the years, the square has served as a slave market, a vegetable market, a parking lot and more recently, a flea market trading mainly African souvenirs, crafts and curios. Near the centre of the square is a hand operated pump used to bring clean water to the surface from an underground river that runs through the city. During the apartheid era, Greenmarket Square was often the focus of political protests, due in part to its proximity to parliament, as well as the ethnicity of its traders and shoppers.