Stellenbosch Deals, Specials & Catalogues
Stellenbosch is one of the largest towns in the Western Cape region, and is well known for its historical significance as the second oldest European settlement in this part of South Africa, as well as its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.
The town is officially its own municipality (also including the nearby towns of Pniel and Franschhoek). It is also an educational and scientific hub of the region, as well as being a major center of production for the country’s wine industry. Being very close to Cape Town, Stellenbosch also serves as a logistical hub for the region.
Stellenbosch was founded in 1679 by Simon van der Stel, then the governor of the Cape Colony, who named it after himself. Its location on the banks of the Eerste River (so named as it was the first river van der Stel encountered on an expedition north of Cape Town to explore new territory) would prove highly advantageous for the new town, as skilled Dutch engineers were able to create a system of furrows to direct fresh water from the river to many parts of Stellenbosch itself.
The town of Stellenbosch grew extremely rapidly for the time, becoming an independent municipality in just three years. By 1690, the first grapes had been planted in the fertile valleys of the region (originally by French Huguenot refugees), forming the foundations of what would become the center of the South African wine industry, and one of the most well respected wine producing regions in the world. In 1710, the large majority of the town was destroyed by a fire (including the first church), but was successfully rebuilt.
Over the next few centuries, Stellenbosch firmly established itself as a center of education with the construction of the oldest school for girls in the country (Rhenish Girls’ High School), the University of Stellenbosch, and Paul Roos Gymnasium, among others, and the town continues to further this reputation today.
Stellenbosch is situated about fifty kilometers north of Cape Town via the N1 national freeway, in the midst of the hilly Cape Winelands region. The valley in which Stellenbosch lies stands at an average elevation of 136m above sea level.
The area is bordered to the west by Papegaaiberg, to the south by Stellenbosch Mountain, and to the southeast by the Jonkershoek, Drakenstein, and Simonsberg mountains.
Stellenbosch is home to many landmarks of historical and cultural importance. One of the oldest churches in the country, known as the ‘Moederkerk’, was built in 1723 and still stands today. Stellenbosch University, one of the country’s finest educational institutions, is an integral part of the town.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route incorporates many of the country’s most popular wine farms. A large number of oak trees and gardens, some of which were planted by the original settlers, are also scattered around the town.
Stellenbosch is home to approximately 77,476 people.
Black Africans make up the majority of the local population.
The most commonly spoken language in the region is Afrikaans.