Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Huguenot Monument
As with all things Franschhoek, the Huguenot Monument Museum lies in a gorgeous setting, in a beautiful Cape Dutch-style building in the grounds of which lies the memorial or monument to celebrate the influence of the French in South Africa.
Where? Franschhoek, Cape Winelands, Western Cape
When? Open daily.
The Huguenot's arrived in the country between the years 1683 and 1756. Despite the obvious influence they have had on the valley of Franschhoek, where almost everything has a French name and origin, few people actually know why they chose South Africa and why they came here. A scan through the list of names of those who landed on our shores gives one a good indication of the origin of many of our surnames, however.
The Huguenot Monument was inaugurated in 1948, and displays a female character with a broken chain in her left hand and a bible in her right.
She is believed to represent the spirit of religious freedom, and the fleur-de-lis on her robe signifies noble spirit and character. Behind her play three arches, symbolic of the holy trinity, and above that is the cross of the christian faith.
Placed strategically infront of the monument is a pond filled with water that reflects the colonnade behind it, an expression of tranquility of mind and spirit. The museum at the Huguenot Monument is filled with the history of the Huguenots both before and after their arrival here in the Cape. The building is a reincarnation of the home of Baron Eillem Ferdinand van Reede van Oudtshoorn, originally built close to Kloof Street in the centre of Cape Town City Bowl.