Exploring the old and new developments in Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch has always been and probably always will be a great town. There’s simply no other quite like this jewel of the Western Cape. Although all Boland towns are charming, Stellenbosch has a character and atmosphere that are unique, despite all the new developments that continue to take place as the town and its surrounding residential areas continue to expand.
For much of the past two centuries, Stellenbosch’s principal existence and activities revolved around the university of the same name, be it as the residence of university students and academia. Today, this picture has changed to a considerable extent.
Stellenbosch was mainly known as a university town. When students vacated the university residences and returned to their homes for varsity holidays, the town emptied, almost becoming a ghostly shadow of its former self, at least until the students’ return. Stellenbosch and its university were and still are synonymous; each appearing to owe its vibrant existence to the other.
Maties in Matieland
Individually and en masse, Maties who were fortunate enough to attend the university to study would love to return to the home of their alma mater – such is the appeal, allure, and ambience of this iconic Boland town.
Van der Stel’s Eikestad
Matieland occupies such an important part in the history of the fairest Cape and South Africa that we’d like to take a brief look at Stellenbosch’s place and contribution to the area and country’s cultural heritage. Cape Town, some 50 km away, is the oldest town settled by Europeans in South Africa; Stellenbosch is the second oldest, founded in 1679 by the Dutch governor, Simon van der Stel. Van der Stel is credited with the prolific planting of oak trees in Stellenbosch, which is also known as “die Eikestad” (City of Oaks).
A school was established here in 1683, but it would be almost two centuries before the forerunners of today’s Stellenbosch University were founded. Many name and status changes took place prior to 1918, the year in which the facility was given its modern name and status – much loved by its alumni, past and present.
Stellenbosch and the surrounding towns in the region form the heart of the famous Cape and Boland wine producing region, which also owes its existence to early European settlers – in this instance, both the Dutch and French Huguenots, who planted grape vines in this corner of the Cape after fleeing religious persecution in France.
With its winter rainfall, mild climate, proximity to the ocean (in the Strand, Somerset West, and Gordon’s Bay), valleys, and surrounding mountains, the Stellenbosch area still maintains its position as the country’s prime wine-producing region – famous locally and internationally.
Property and specialists in Stellenbosch
Since so many people would give their eye teeth to live in the Cape and only some of them are fortunate enough to purchase property in Stellenbosch, it follows that properties – heritage buildings and new developments – in Stellenbosch are sought after and highly valued.
The growth of the area is extremely noteworthy. New developments are decidedly upmarket and are priced accordingly, taking into account the popularity of Stellenbosch residential properties. How does one find a property specialist to ease the way into a new Stellenbosch development?
There’s but one answer that really matters. You should make use of the services of one of our estate agents who specialises in the Stellenbosch property market and its host of new developments. With a Fine & Country South Africa expert as your property partner, you can start looking forward to a much-anticipated move to Matieland.