Why do so many of the streets in Franschhoek have French names?
Why do so many Afrikaners have French surnames, even if they are given Afrikaans pronunciation (Terreblanche, de Villiers, Theron) or spelling (Cronje, de Klerk, Pienaar)?
Numerous people in South Africa are descended from Huguenots and this little museum illustrates how the early immigrants settled in French Corner ("Franschhoek ") near Cape Town and contributed to the development of the wine industry in South Africa. Suddenly, after a visit to this museum, the names of the vineyards (La Motte, La Cotte, Cabrière, Provence, Chamonix, Dieu Donné) and restaurants (Le Quartier Francais, Cafe Des Arts,Le Bon Vivant) all made sense.
Comprising two little buildings, it houses a variety of furniture, silverware and kitchen utensils, documents, bibles, relics and artefacts which illustrate the early life of the Huguenots settlers.
The museum includes a bi-lingual history of the Huguenots persecution from the outset of the Reformation to the Edict of Orléans and beyond. The video presentation also helps explain the history of the Cape settlement.
The second building offers an insight into the early San inhabitants
It certainly offers a different perspective on Cape history.
Entry to the Memorial garden is extra
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