Stellenbosch, the second oldest city in South Africa, is hidden in a beautiful valley in the province of Western Cape. The city is named after Simon van der Stel, a Dutch governor who planted the first grape vines here in 1679. In the meantime Stellenbosch has become the wine capital of the country.
Not only for gourmets, but also for culture lovers, Stellenbosch has plenty to offer. The center is full of museums and old buildings from the colonial era. Sporty guests can play golf, horse riding, hiking, tennis, cycling, fly fishing and mountain biking.
Stellenbosch has a Mediterranean climate, with dry, warm summers and a cool winter with a lot of rainfall. The summer runs from December to February. The minimum temperature is then 26 ° C, but can go up to 36 ° C. In June to August it is winter and the temperature is between 15 ° C and 20 ° C. A good climate for growing grapes and producing wine. The first and most famous wine route of South Africa leaves from Stellenbosch. There are no fewer than 106 wine cellars around the city. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is cut into five parts and goes along the famous wineries. Spier Wine Estate is one of the famous wine estates and consists of a country house, pub, restaurant, farm and wine center. Every winter there is the Stellenbosch Wine Festival in the city. Guests enjoy more than 500 types of wine, music, dance and art at this great event.
Stellenbosch is also called the ‘oak city’. Everywhere there are large oak trees under which you can laze in the shade. The oak stems from the 17th century, when the need for oak grew through the creation of the first wine farms. The originally European farmers were used to making their wine barrels from oak. However, it soon became apparent that this wood became too spongy because of the African climate to make wine barrels.
The most important street in the city is the Dorpsstraat. Here are beautiful monumental buildings in Cape Dutch style with richly decorated facades, window shutters and gates. There are also many buildings in Gregorian and Victorian architectural style. Most buildings nowadays serve as a shop, restaurant, hotel or studio.
One of the best known shops in the Dorpstraat is Oom Samie se Winkel. The shop still looks exactly like it did after it was founded, about two hundred years ago.At Oom Samie you will find everything from old / antique items, kitsch, clothing, wine, spices to fruit.Net
the impressive Mother Church on the village square is as old as the city itself. This church has already survived a number of fires. After the last fire, the church was rebuilt in 1863 in neo-Gothic style, after a design by the German artist Carl Otto Hagar.
There are a number of interesting museums in Stellenbosch. The Village Museum consists of a number of restored historic houses, which with their furnishings from that time give an impression of life in the past. The Toy & Miniature Museum houses old toys and detailed miniatures and the Rupert Museum houses modern art. The Rembrandt van Rijn art gallery, the Stellenrijck wine museum and the Oude Meester cognac museum are also worth a visit.
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Apart from the many wineries and the historic city center, Stellenbosch is also known as a student city because of the presence of Stellenbosch University. Located right in the center and attracts more than 17,000 students annually. With lots of cozy bars and a busy nightlife, there is plenty to do for tourists, students and locals alike.