Stellenbosch is town situated 50 km from the city of Cape Town in the Western Cape in South Africa. The last time I visited this town was back in late 1997. I’m sure that this place has changed a lot over the years. I think I should go check it again sometime.
Here are some facts about Stellenbosch:
- Stellenbosch is the 2nd oldest settlement in the Western Cape province (behind Cape Town). The town of Stellenbosch was founded in 1679.
- The town is named after its founder, Simon van der Stel (former governor of the Cape Colony).
- In the early days of the Second Boer War (1899-1902) Stellenbosch was one of the British military bases and was used as a remount camp for British soldiers.
- The town has a population of about 117,000 (not counting students).
- Maties Rugby club is one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world.
- Omar Henry (South African cricketer), Charl Langeveldt (South African cricketer), Roger Telemachus (South African cricketer), Paul Roos (Springbok Rugby player), JP Pietersen (Springbok rugby player) and Giniel de Villiers (Rally Driver) were all born in Stellies.
- Stellenbosch University was founded in 1866 as Stellenbosch Gymnasium, renamed in 1881 to Stellenbosch College, renamed in 1887 to Victoria College and finally renamed to its current name in 1918 (when the institution acquired university status). More than 26,000 students attend the university.
- One of the first schools in South Africa opened in Stellenbosch in 1683.
- The early settlers to this fertile region were encouraged to plant oak trees and the town’s oak lanes streets bear testimony today in the town being know as “Eikestad” (meaning village of oaks). It’s also referred to as “Stellies” by many South Africans.
- South Africa currently has 101 957 hectares under vines, of which approximately 18 %is planted in the wine of origin Stellenbosch region.
Watch this space for more updates about South Africa in the 10 facts section of this blog. Running Wolf’s Rant is regularly updated.