Franschhoek's Thatched - Gabled Cape Dutch Homes
April 1688, the first 270 French Huguenots settlers arrived
in Saldana Bay, South Africa. Exiles from their country, persecuted for
their Protestant faith, they left France in search of
tolerance and freedom, bringing with them a significant knowledge of viticulture.
first farm in the Franschhoek valley was granted to Swiss colonist Henrich Mòller in 1692
and named Keerweder . In
1694, Governor of the Cape Simon van der Stel welcomed more
Huguenots and the skills they brought with them. In
October 1694, nine French Huguenots and a Prussian family
were granted farms in Oliphantshoek, an area frequented by
herds of elephant. The settlers set about naming
their farms in memory of their distant homeland.
1713 the valley was being referred to as "de France Hoek",
or "the French corner". In 1805
"Franschhoek" became official. Local
has it that in
1836, the last elephants, a mother and calf, were seen
leaving the valley on what is today the Franschhoek pass.
- - -
Franschhoek's gabled Cape
Dutch homes follow.
Portions of an article
by Nicole Crozier are inter-dispersed.