21 July 2015

Stellenbosch - Historic University Town


Dorp Street, Stellenbosch
When one thinks of Stellenbosch, the first things that come to mind are; oaks trees, students, wine, art galleries and food! Not in any particular order as they are all in abundance except during the University holidays when the younger set all depart for their home towns and leave the town in quiet mode for awhile!

Stellenbosch Pavement Cafe

It's a fabulous place for students, they basically have the run of this beautiful tree-lined place during term time. It's an idyllic situation and most students will always fondly remember the Varsity days. Sometimes, I wonder how they ever pass any exams - it is just such a laid back kind of place where students are king! However, having attended a graduation ceremony, it seems that most do pass and with excellent results!



Stellenbosch, founded in 1659, is the 2nd oldest settlement in the Cape after Cape Town and is fondly known as the "City of Oaks" or "Eikestad" due the the huge number of oak trees. These trees were planted by Simon van der Stel and lend a gracious air to the streets in both their autumn, winter or summer coats. During autumn the foliage is so picturesque, during winter the bare branches cast intriging shapes on the surrounding buildings and, in summer, the beautiful green foliage provides welcome shade from the heat of the day.

Dorp Street, Stellenbosch

Anybody who is interested in architecture will love the more well-known streets of this town as the Cape Dutch buildings are picture perfect. Dorp Street, which has been declared a National Monument, has one of the longest rows of historic houses in South Africa. Walking is an absolute must - start at "Oom Samie se Winkel", an "olde world" type of store where you can get lost in bygone times! Then walk the rest of the street to admire the buidlings of yesteryear.

Near the end of Dorp Street you will find the Theological Seminary. The gates are normally open and one can wander around. This became the first university-level institution in 1859.

Food and Wine - what can one say! This area is renowned for both and boasts the oldest wine route in the country. Check out:  www.wineroute.co.za

Food lovers will revel in this town with many, many restaurants - from coffee shops to 5* dining - you should find something that caters to your pocket and your palate. 

Astronomer's Head by Anton Smit


The Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens are rather hidden away but we managed to find them purely by chance. These gardens are not very big but worth a 10 minute stroll or a respite from all the food and wine! 








This is just a brief blog to whet your appetite to explore this renowned town - there is much to see and do, much to eat and drink, and loads of art galleries and shops in which to spend your money!

If you over-indulge, there are many places to choose from for an overnight or week-end stay.

Enjoy!



The drive to Stellenbosch is stunningly beautiful!





© Judelle Drake
om Samie se Winkel (a ‘living museum’) is the ‘old world’ village store housing antiques, collectables, old-fashioned sweets and local products and produce.




- See more at: http://www.stellenbosch.travel/attractions/museums#sthash.TAPhzbQf.dpuf
  • Theological Seminary, Dorp St.. On the site of the original settlement, which was on an island in the Eerste River until one of its watercourses was filled in. This became the first university-level institution in 1859. The garden contains two pines from Norfolk Island, near Australia, which the University's students sometimes like to climb!  edit
Theological Seminary, Dorp St.. On the site of the original settlement, which was on an island in the Eerste River until one of its watercourses was filled in. This became the first university-level institution in 1859. The garden contains two pines from Norfolk Island, near Australia, which the University's students sometimes like to climb!  edit

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