It is estimated that there are a staggering 800 or so wine farms in Stellenbosch and the immediate surrounding areas. However long you might be looking to stay in the area, even the most hardened drinkers will be hard pressed to get through just a fraction of these. So with so many options, how to narrow it down to something more realistic at the outset? Our advice would be to start with some of the oldest and most historic of the bunch as these generally retain the highest prestige and boast the most interesting wine experience even today. Many of these estates would have played a role in laying the very foundations of Stellenbosch as far back as the late 17th century. If it wasn’t for these pioneers, Stellenbosch may well never have been born.
28th February 2013, Posted in History
The oldest residential street in South Africa is a highlight when visiting Stellenbosch. Lined with buildings dating back to the 19th century, a few to look out for are No.116 Voorgelegen, containing original Batavian tiles, a military museum housed in the Kruithuis and the homestead of Libertas Parva which is now a Rembrandt van Rijn Gallery. Dorp Street has the typical Cape Dutch architecture with their prominent features being the rounded gables as well as the H – shaped houses. A good example being the Burgher House which is also a national monument. The Ackerman House, number 48-50 Dorp Street, used to be the residence of South Africa’s former Prime Minister, Jan Christiaan Smuts, who was a boarder here while attending the University. Here he also met his future wife. (more…)
Stellenbosch has a variety of cultures which can be viewed throughout the many art galleries located in town. The SMAC – Gallery (Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery) is located in the De Wet Centre on Church Street. It focuses on the significance of South Africa’s historical and contemporary art movement with well-established artists showcasing their art here. If you would like to view the University’s art collection, visit the Sasol Art Museum in Ryneveld Street. The building, declared a National Monument in 1979, has a permanent collection of paintings, graphic works and sculptures, with regular temporary exhibitions of artists on display.