Franschhoek – South Africa’s ‘French Corner’ – boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage, which dates as far back as the late 1600’s, and is commemorated in a multitude of ways throughout the small town. With impressive memorials, an assortment of history museums and charming Cape Dutch architecture, a trip to Franschhoek offers more than just a scenic vista. Meander through the vineyards, or along the broad avenues, and feel the history of the place around every corner.
In 1685, Protestantism was outlawed in France, thus forcing hundreds of people to flee from their homes. Almost 300 of these so-called Huguenots arrived at the Cape of Good Hope by ship, and were soon given land by the then Dutch government in a valley called Oliphantshoek (Elephant’s Corner), where they would come to settle. With the influx of French occupants, this valley, which once derived its name from the vast herds of elephants that made their way into the area to calve, soon became known as le Coin Français (French Corner, in French), and later Franschhoek (French Corner, in Dutch).
This interesting and resilient Franschhoek history is still honoured in the modern-day town, and several attractions both celebrate and elaborate on the town’s origins. In much the same way, various aspects of the town are dedicated to the arts, and are worth a visit on your trip to Franschhoek.
Choose from an exciting selection of Arts & Culture activities in Franschhoek:
Visit the Huguenot Museum
Admire the Huguenot Memorial
Take a trip to the Franschhoek Motor Museum
Board the Franschhoek Wine Tram
Appreciate the unspoilt Cape Dutch architecture
Pay a visit to the Museum van de Caab
Celebrate with the Bastille Festival