Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, by Christiaan Diedericks and Catherine Eden
Christiaan Diedericks and Catherine Eden about Constantia: Simon van der Stel, third Governor of the Cape, was granted nearly 2 500 ha of land in 1685 for the production of fruit and vegetables needed by ships en route to the East.
This vast estate was divided into three sections in 1716: modern Bergvliet, Klein Constantia and Groot Constantia, where the much-visited manor house still stands. The homestead was badly damaged by fire in 1925 but was restored, furnished and preserved as a museum that offers visitors an experience of mid-17th century Cape Dutch style.
Groot Constantia may be the best known of the valley’s original wine farms, but other examples of this distinctive architecture can also be seen at Buitenverwagting, Steenberg, Klein Constantia and Uitsig. It’s hard to top the elegance and incomparable setting of these historic homes, but modern Constantia does its best to rise to the challenge. Opulent palaces rear up beside unpretentious paddocks, earning the region the reputation of being Cape Town’s ‘mink and manure’ belt. The farms and vineyards on the valley’s wine route have diversified to include gift shops, restaurants, wine tasting and leisure facilities to entice visitors to the area. Capetonians are spoilt for choice: it’s possible to walk the dog at Groot Constantia, play golf at Steenberg, taste a perfect Sauvignon Blanc at Klein Constantia, lunch at Uitsig and pick an armful of roses at Chart farm in the space of a single day. For all its up-market shopping and residential splendour, Constantia remains a quiet part of Cape Town where bird life is rich and the air is sweet and loamy. Breakfast may be bought at a French-style bistro, or at the dusty Barnyard Farmstall, where hens roost inside the shop among the straw bales and the potatoes. Porcupines still snuffle round gardens after dark, and a genet or even a lynx may occasionally be seen in the vicinity of Cecilia Forest. At night, owls hoot in the trees and the skies are brilliant with stars, thanks to the absence of street lights.
Content fo Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula:
THE FRONT FACE
The Circle of Islam
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
The City Bowl
CHAPMAN’S PEAK & SURROUNDS
Kommetjie, Witsand & Misty Cliffs
Cape of Good Hope
Ou Kaapse Weg & Silvermine
KIRSTENBOSCH TO DEVIL’S PEAK
Groote Schuur Estate
Through the Photographer’s Window
This is an extract from the book: Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, by Christiaan Diedericks and Catherine Eden.
Book title: Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula
Authors: Christiaan Diedericks; Catherine Eden
Cape Town, South Africa 2005
Hardcover, dustcover, 24x24 cm, 128 Seiten, throughout colour photos
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