The magnificent Franschhoek Valley nestles between towering
mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands. Spectacular vineyards
cover the mountain slopes, which were settled more than 300 years
ago by the 'Huguenots', who brought with them their age-old French
wine and food culture.
After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France in 1685,
when Protestantism was outlawed, hundreds of Huguenots fled their
homeland, 277 of them arriving by ship at the Cape of Good Hope.
Many of them were given land by the Dutch government in a valley
called Oliphantshoek (Elephant's Corner) - so named because of the
vast herds of elephants that roamed the area. Soon after they
settled here, it became known as Franschhoek (French Corner).
This heritage lives on today with the Huguenot Monument (also
known as 'Franschhoek Monument', standing proudly at the top of the
village. The museum nearby chronicles the history of those brave
pioneers, with each of the original Huguenot farms having its own
fascinating story to tell. Driving into Franschhoek you will notice
that most of the farms still bear their original French names and
are usually complete with a spectacular Cape Dutch homestead,
towering oaks and luscious vineyards.