George Deals, Specials & Catalogues
George is a prominent city within the Western Cape province of South Africa.
In addition to being a major population center for the region, the city is known as a popular holiday destination for South Africans as well as some foreigners, and boasts many cultural attractions as well as an interesting history that dates back to the early years of Dutch expansion within South Africa. George lies along the famous Garden Route, and serves as the commercial and administrative hub of this region as well as that of the municipality bearing its name. The city itself was named after King George III, the reigning British monarch at the time of its foundation.
George’s history dates back to the mid-eighteenth century at the time of the Dutch East India Company’s expansion into deeper regions of the Cape. The town the would become George began as a humble outpost for the Company, intended to be a major supply point for the provision of timber for the construction of buildings, furniture, ships, and other forms of transport such as ox wagons. In 1795, along with the Cape colony itself, this outpost was taken over by the British, but continued to serve most of its previous functions.
In 1811, the magistracy of Swellendam (in which the outpost fell) was subdivided, and the town of George officially founded. The town was proclaimed on St. George’s Day by the Earl of Caledon, and named after the king. A number of furrows, many of which which still remain, were dug to supply water to the first plots in the new settlement. From this point on, many settlers began to move towards the George region to take advantage of the growing timber industry there as well as the agreeable living conditions, and the town’s population began to grow at a steady rate. From its earliest days, George’s population was a mix of nationalities, including British, Dutch, and Italian, as well as some indigenous peoples.
George is located roughly halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, along the Garden Route that runs along the coastline of the region. The town is situated on a plateau that is bordered by the Outeniqua mountains to the north, and the Indian Ocean to the south. Its nearest neighbour is the town of Pacaltsdorp, which lies to the south of George itself.
George’s most notable landmarks are largely historical in nature. One of the more interesting of these is the so-called Slave Tree, an old English Oak planted by the first mayor of the town that has a chain and lock embedded in its trunk. The King Edwards VII Library is considered to be the best example of Edwardian architecture in the city. The Tsitsikamma National Park is also located near to George.
George is home to around 157,394 people, at a density of approximately 1900 per square kilometer.
The majority of the population is Coloured, with Afrikaans being the most commonly spoken first language in the area.