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Information on Somerset West, Western Cape, South Africa

Conference Venues South Africa brings you information on Somerset West situated in the Western Cape Province of South Africa including information on history, location, geography, attractions.

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Somerset West is a town in the Western Cape province situated in the Helderberg area, east of Cape Town. The town is overlooked by the imposing Helderberg, a part of the Hottentots-Holland range of mountains.

Somerset West has a fairly decorative display of Christmas lights erected atop the street lights of the Main Road. The Helderberg Lights Festival, a flea market and parade, normally complement these lights. The Helderberg Nature Reserve contains a wide variety of smaller fauna and magnificent specimens of indigenous flora such as protea and fynbos.

Somerset West contains a number of sporting facilities including several golf courses. The historic town of Stellenbosch is reachable via the R44 motorway. The area between Somerset West and Stellenbosch also encompasses many vineyards and wineries where visitors can sample and purchase wine.

 

Somerset West History

The land was originally bought from local people, and a cattle station was established here by Dutch soldiers in 1672. A town developed around the Lourens River  and the farm of Vergelegen, an 18th century farmhouse built in the historic Cape Dutch style by Willem Adriaan van der Stel, governor of the Cape and son of Simon van der Stel, who gave his name to the nearby town of Stellenbosch. Willem Adriaan was then sent back to Holland after being charged with fraud and cruelty towards local Dutch farmers. The farm is now owned by a subsidiary of the large mining company Anglo American, who have restored the farmhouse to its original grandeur and continue to produce some of the South Africa's finest wines there. The farm is open to tourists.

The town was named Somerset after an English governor of the Cape Colony during the 1800s, Lord Charles Henry Somerset, with the suffix 'West' being added after 1825 to distinguish it from Somerset East, another South African town in the Eastern Cape. In the 1830s, Sir Lowry's Pass, named after later governor Sir Lowry Cole, was constructed to connect the town with outposts further east over the Hottentots-Holland mountains. In the 1960s, the AECI factory between Somerset West and Strand was the second largest dynamite factory in the world

Towns and Suburbs of the Western Cape province of South Africa

Arniston , Albertinia , Bantry Bay , Bellville , Barrydale , Beaufort West , Bloubergrant , Bloubergstrand , Brackenfell , Caledon , Century City , Ceres , Camps Bay , Cape Town , Citrusdal , Clanwilliam , Claremont , Constantia , Darling, De Rust , De Waterkant , Durbanville , Fish Hoek , Franschhoek , Fresnaye , Gardens , Gordon's Bay , Gansbaai , George , Grabouw , Green Point , Greyton , Hout Bay , Hermanus , Kenilworth , Kleinmond , Knysna , Lakeside , Lambert's Bay , Langebaan , Malgas , McGregor , Melkbosstrand , Milnerton , Morreesburg , Muizenberg , Montagu , Mossel Bay , Mowbray , Newlands , Noordhoek , Observatory , Oranjezicht , Oudtshoorn , Paternoster, Paarl , Parow , Pinelands , Plettenberg Bay , Prince Albert , Pringle Bay , Rawsonville , Robertson , Riebeeck West , Rondebosch , Stellenbosch , Somerset West , Simon's Town , Saldanha , Sea Point , Sir Lowry's Pass , Stanford , St Helena Bay , Strand , Swellendam , Table View , Tokai , Tulbagh , Tygerberg , Uniondale, Vermont , Vredendal , Wellington , Wilderness , Witsand , Worcester , Wynberg , Yzerfontein


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