Besides restaurants and wineries Franschhoek has more to offer. Beautiful buildings and other places of interest alongside the main road and the streets around the block. No, they are not as old or historic as buildings in for example Rome or Paris. Most buildings date from somewhere between 1830 and 1950. But that doesn’t make them less special or worth to go and see. South Africa, especially the villages and small towns, was developed and ‘re-discovered’ by the Voortrekkers (Afrikaans for pioneers), starting from 1830-1840. As I lived in Franschhoek for 5,5 years and used to run and walk through the village almost every day, I know what are the pretty and Instagram-worthy hotspots to go an play with your camera. Today I will share some of these sightseeing places with you.
1. Evangelies Reformed Church
In the Dirkie Uys Street there is a busy church: the Evangelies Reformed Church. On the corner of Dirkie Uys Street and de Wet Street, you will find this beautiful church where there are often weddings, funerals and the weekly religious Sunday. Quite some coloured or black residents of Franschhoek come here. It is strange that, although apartheid was abolished already for years, there is still such a big separation.
2. River bed
If you walk from the first Church on Dirkie Uys (Evangelies) towards the other, smaller church on Dirkie Uys, you pass this river bed, next to the pottery studio of David Walters. Especially during winter and spring, when there is water in the river, I like to stop here and have a look at it.
3. Small church on 13 Dirkie Uys
I don’t know the name or function of this small church on 13 Dirkie Uys Street, but I always like to pass it. During the Literary Festival in May it is often used, too. Don’t you think it’s cute.
4. The Monument, Statue of la Femme and the Old Museum
The Monument, built to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the ‘French Huguenots’ in Franschhoek, can be found at the end of the Main Road, when you drive towards the Franschhoek Pass. The statue of the lady (‘La Femme’) and the Old museum and ‘Slavehuis’ can be found here, too. It is nice to visit this unique historic landmark of Franschhoek at least once during your stay.
5. Leeu House
Since Mr. Singh and his army of staff came into the village of Franschhoek, lot of things has changed. The former building of Rusthof Guest House, is renovated and changed into a 5* luxury boutique hotel, called Leeu House. It is part of The Leeu Collection, what includes Le Quartier Français, Leeu Estate, TukTuk Microbrewery and soon-to-be-opened Marigold Indian restaurant. Furthermore the company has a part in the ownership and management of Mullineux winery, Swartland (South Africa) – which was awarded with prices last year. Of all the places I think I like the Leeu House the best, because this was an existing, historic building. I love Leeu Estate too, but this building was all (impressively) created and developed (there was nothing there before), while this beauty in the Main Road of Franschhoek existed already for some years!
6. Post Office
Maybe not as special or historical as other building or points of interested, but I have always like it: the Post Office of Franschhoek. Maybe it’s because I came here always to pick up packages with letters and boxes with Dutch magazines from my mother, sent all the way from the Netherlands, or maybe it’s because of the friendly staff here? I don’t know what it is, but I like this place. Situated in the Main Road of Franschhoek, not far from Leeu House and the Nedbank building.
7. Nedbank building & Standard Bank building
Aren’t bank buildings in the entire world often beautiful, big and majestic buildings? It’s the same in South Africa. Both the buildings of Nedbank and Standard Bank in Franschhoek are a pleasure for the eye. I wish they were for sale and someone started a restaurant or hotel here. To be honest much nicer than a bank building…. Small problem: I don’t think they will ever sell and leave their great location in the Main Road of Franschhoek.
8. Franschhoek City Hall
Built in 1935 in Cape-Dutch style; the town hall of Franschhoek. It’s not my personal favourite, but a beautiful building it yet is. There are sometimes functions or events in this building. In addition to that, the annual Literary Festival hosts one of its main speaking areas here. I especially like to see this building from a distance, if you stand on the corner of Cabriere Street and Bordeaux Street. The view from there you can see on the featured image on top of this article.
9. Franschhoek NG Reformed Church
Franschhoek’s proud, the apple of the eye: The NG Reformed Franschhoek Church in the Main Road. With her thatched roof, backdrop mountains and her jagged facade, it’s an eye-catcher. In this church there are often weddings, music concerts or other festival events. And every Sunday it still is used as a Christian church where lots of Afrikaner people of Franschhoek will go to.
If you would like to see all these points of interest yourself when in Franschhoek, click here for the walking-route on Google Maps.
*Note: I have not been asked, invited or paid to write about the places of interest in Franschhoek. It was my own idea. All images are mine and taken with a Canon EOS M3 camera.
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