On a tour through the Western cape, especially in the Winelands in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek, in the Breede River Valley and in the Overberg, one comes across a great number of buildings in the Cape-Dutch style.
The buildings were given thick walls and white plaster as a protection from the summer heat. The farm mansions in the countryside were equipped with large kitchens and reception rooms for visitors due to the long distances and lack of guest houses in the region at the time. The appearance of the houses also reflected the growing prosperity and reputation of their owners. The originally plain centre gables became more decorative over time as the pointed shape was replaced by a rounded one. Strangely enough, the roofs haven't changed. They are still steeply pitched to shed the snow.
With the settling of Europeans at the Cape a special architectural style evolved. Originating in Europe and meant for European social and weather conditions, it was slowly adapted to the climate and the social conditions prevalent in southern Africa.
Photos: Typical buildings in the Cape-Dutch style. Top right: Boschendal Wine Estate.