Yesterday and today’s (security) estates in Constantia
Just the mere mention of Cape Town’s suburb of Constantia is enough to spur mental travellers onwards into a journey of discovery; and homeowners, who hunger after an area and elegant lifestyle, into action. It’s an area that evokes a time and lifestyle that is almost as old as European history itself, here on the southern tip of Africa.
Virtually every South African who lives in inland provinces would dearly like to live in the Cape, and most would love to live in lush, green, historic Constantia, which is known for its natural beauty, exquisite estate wines, iconic Cape Dutch homesteads, and affluent, laid-back lifestyle.
It’s hardly surprising that prestigious property specialists, Fine & Country South Africa, are on hand to assist property buyers and sellers in their property transactions in this elite part of the Cape, since we have built our sterling reputation as a South African real estate agency of choice in the luxury property market.
Many of Constantia’s desirable features have endured throughout the centuries and are still very much part of 21st century Constantia, even extending to its modern security estates. Farm and wine estates are nothing new to the Cape and Constantia, but security estates are a lifestyle concept that didn’t exist before the latter part of the 20th century, so it’s worthwhile to take note of this suburb’s history.
Snippets of Constantia history
In 1684, long before Constantia became a one of the oldest suburbs of Cape Town, it was an estate and farm belonging to Simon van der Stel, the then Dutch Governor of the Cape. He named his estate Groot Constantia, and it is only two years younger than the Cape’s oldest estate, Steenberg.
Today, Groot Constantia estate wines bear a picture of its famed Cape Dutch gabled house, but this wasn’t the original van der Stel homestead, which was a humble dwelling with small casement windows, devoid of gables. He lived there until he died in 1712, after which Constantia estate was sub-divided into three farms – Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, and Bergvliet.
Groot Constantia changed hands several times. Around 1792, the simple estate house was extended and renovated. The beautiful gable was added. A fire of unknown origin destroyed the interior of the home in 1925, after which it was meticulously restored to its former glory, as it was in 1793. Groot Constantia’s homestead has been a national monument since 1936. Today it is a museum, whilst the winery continues to produce some of the world’s finest wines. Table grapes from Constantia are cultivated mainly for the export market.
Living in Constantia
What’s not to love about Constantia? There is always something to keep you occupied, in addition to Constantia’s seemingly relaxed, leisurely lifestyle. There’s a village atmosphere and quaint shopping centres with equally quaint shops, art galleries, and high-fashion boutiques. The schooling in and near Constantia is excellent and residents are only some 20 minutes’ travel from Cape Town’s city centre.
Although there are many freehold homes on large properties in this elite suburb and the surrounding areas, security estates, with their lock-up-and-go lifestyles, are increasingly in demand, especially with people moving to Constantia from Gauteng, and other upcountry towns and cities. These folks, in particular, are very security conscious, so living in a security estate suits them to a T, since it is this to which they’ve become accustomed inland, through necessity, even though Constantia is considered to be one of Cape Town’s safest suburbs.
Fine & Country South Africa in Constantia
Finding and viewing property in Constantia’s security estates unaided by knowledgeable real estate agents is not easy. Moreover, luxury property market transactions require the assistance of competent specialists in this sector – the committed service of one of our professional real estate agents, who will guide you from enquiry stage, through the entire process to a successful, highly satisfactory conclusion – in or outside Constantia.