Presentation of the destination
Stellenbosch is located in southwestern South Africa, fifty kilometers from Cape Town. At the edge of the river Eerste - also called the oaks - it is both a city of 100,000 inhabitants and a local municipality of 200,000 inhabitants, consisting of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek , Nuweberg and Pniel, and the second oldest city in the country. The municipality belongs to the Cape Wine District. In this city of painful past, the tourist wonders succeed to ensure that those who go there a stay rich in discoveries.
Points of interests / things to see
The existence of the city of Stellenbosch can be traced back to the extent that traces of the prehistoric world were found on the spot. However it is in 1679 that the city, as it is known today, was founded by the second governor of the Cape colony, Simon Van der Stel. It is also from its founder that the city takes its name. Simon van der Stel chose to settle here because of the presence of a river and fertile land. A few years later, in 1688, the Huguenots settled in Stellenbosch to develop the wine industry. By hosting the Protestant seminary in 1863, Stellenbosch will be one of the most Afrikaner cities in the Cape Colony. Afrikaners are white South Africans with Dutch, French, German or Scandinavian origins. The language spoken by Afrikaners is Afrikaans, a dialect derived from Dutch. The emergence of Afrikaner nationalism translated by the creation of the national party - whose name will evolve over its existence - political party of South Africa. Throughout the twentieth century, from 1914, the year of its creation, until 1997, the year of its dissolution, the national party will make Stellenbosch its bastion. From 1918, squatters take place in a district called "kafferland". Subsequently, the district becomes the township of Kayamadi, intended to accommodate people of colors. The aim is to respect one of the apartheid predecessors, set up by the national party in 1948, and to separate the inhabitants of the city into separate neighborhoods according to their skin color. It was not until 1994 to see different opposition parties rise. From this time and with the end of apartheid, the city takes another dimension and reveals tourist treasures always attracting more tourists.
The city of Stellenbosch has a lot to offer to those who have chosen to spend a few days there. From Cape Dutch-style buildings to centuries-old oak-lined streets to university campuses and vineyards in the area ... there's so much to do in this city! The oldest road in the city, Dorp Street, is the old main road that was used to get to Cape Town. This road is lined with colonial buildings dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. We find the "Old Reading Room" which welcomed, in 1864, 43 inhabitants of the city gathered to discuss the opening of the Stellenbosch Gymnasium. Among the churches in the city, whether they are on Dorp Street or "Braak" (green-colored esplanade where military parades used to be held), we can mention the Old Lutheran Church dating back to 1851, the 1823 Church of the Missionaries of the Rhine and the Moederkerk Church (designed in neo-Gothic style and historical landmark of the city). A charming little building built of bricks, whitewashed, thatched roof and small stained glass windows, the St. Mary's Anglican Church was declared a historic monument in 1966. The Other monuments of Dorp Street are the "Kolonieshuis", a colonial house where the remains of the oldest house in the city, the "Voorgelegen", was built in one year by Johannes Victor in 1797. The latter houses today The Stellenbosch Museum. Do not miss also La Gratitude's house dating back to 1798 ... This property belonged to the Borcherd family whose father was minister of the Dutch Reformed Church. See also: Libertas Parva dating from 1793, renovated farmhouse with the only central Baroque gable dating from before 1790 of the whole city and nowadays housing the Van Rijn Rembrandt art museum. , and finally, the Oude Meester Wine Museum, museum of the vine and the wine retracing the methods of vinification of the first French and Dutch colonists. Returning to the esplanade of "Braak", there is the arsenal, at the time of ammunition deposition and nowadays military museum. Finally, you can also visit the Grosvenor House, dating from 1786, which houses part of the "Stellenbosch Village Museum" where Dutch-style houses stand out in their original state from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. me century. In addition to this plethora of historical monuments, what makes the region's wealth are its vineyards.
With the valleys of Paarl and Franschhoek, the Stellenbosch Valley is Cape Winelands. The combination of these three valleys makes it the first wine region of South Africa. The Stellenbosch Wine Route, created in 1971, is a major asset for the city. The wine route of Stellenbosch includes some 200 winegrowers and grape producers. It is also possible that some of these winemakers have been trained in one of the two training centers for winemakers and winemakers in South Africa, which is also located in Stellenbosch. To further establish the city's reputation for wine, was founded in 2002, the American Express Stellenbosch Wine Roads. The latter connects no less than 148 wineries, allowing everyone to live a unique experience in each of these establishments. On the Stellenbosch Wine Route, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the city's "original wine" tastings, take part in cellar visits or make wine tours. wine shopping, after discovering the one that best matches his tastes and desires. The Stellenbosch American Express Wine Routes allows Stellenbosch to be part of the worldwide Wine Capitals network, a network of the ten major and most important cities in the wine industry. But many will say that a good wine should accompany a good meal. Thus it is time to discuss the subject of culinary specialties of the city and more generally of the region. As far as the dishes are concerned, three are to be quoted and tasted if one wants to savor the local cuisine called "Cape Malay". The first dish is biltong prepared from beef or ostrich meat, which is cut into thin slices and left to dry. The second dish is bobotie, a dish that dates back to the seventeenth century, cooked like a gratin with minced meat, cream, oriental spices such as curry and cooked fruits. Finally, the third dish is waterblommetje berdie, a typical stew prepared with lamb meat or mutton, seasoned with an aquatic flower and served with potatoes, of sorrel and always oriental spices. For typical drinks other than wine there is the rooibos - plant that is drunk in tea or infusion - and the amarula - liquor from a tree called Marula - to name only the best known.
Stellenbosch is fortunate to host the national rugby team, the Springboks. Since 1902, it is here that the team evolves and trains, at the stage of the university of Stellenbosch. The college was created in 1886, then became a major university center and finally became Stellenbosch University in 1918. The Springbok team is one of the best national schools in the world. world. If the team had to experience isolation during the apartheid period, it quickly regained the upper hand and was crowned twice world champion in 1995 and 2007, the year where France hosted the Rugby World Cup. Real national sport rugby is part of the daily life of locals. We will not miss, during his stay, to go to the stadium or watch a match in one of the bars of the city. Field hockey is another very popular sport for the local population. Visitors may have the opportunity to attend a match during their stay on site.
Vacation rentals in Stellenbosch (Western Cape)
How to get there ?
The nearest international airport is Cape Town, about 35 minutes drive from Stellenbosch. A shuttle service run by the airport allows to reach the city. If tourists do not wish to reach Stellenbosch from the airport but from Cape Town's city center, they will be able to travel by bus. The center can also be reached by rental car by taking the N1 motorway (exit R304 towards Stellenbosch) which is considered the safest of the two, especially at night or the N2 motorway ( output R310). The last solution is the train, which connects Cape Town and Stellenbosch via Belleville and whose main advantage is to be somewhat excessive and safe. For on-site travel, the relatively small size of the city encourages travelers to walk. Warning: there are no street signs in the city, street names are indicated in yellow and Afrikaans on the sidewalk. Finally, regarding the accommodation, many hotels are present in the city and know how to adapt to all types of customers and all budgets.
Hotels in Stellenbosch (Western Cape)