Napier, Western Cape


Napier, Western Cape
Napier, Western Cape
The NG Kerk (Dutch reformed church) on the main street of Napier
Country  South Africa
Province Western Cape
Population
 – Total +/- 4,200
Time zone SAST (UTC+2)
Postal code 7270
Area code(s) 028

Through rolling hills of Canola, wheat and barley, you’ll find the charming village of Napier at the foot of the Soetmuisberg, between Caledon and Bredasdorp. A blend of century-old cottages and modern houses, surrounded by the rolling farmland which typifies the Overberg region of South Africa, give the village a delightful rural atmosphere.

The popularity of Napier has increased dramatically during the past few years. Napier is now rated by the Tourism Board as the fourth most attractive village of the Western Cape after Montagu, Greyton and McGregor, all of which are within an easy drive of Napier itself.

This picturesque village is revitalising itself with folk lovingly restoring old homesteads and properties – rekindling the charm and beauty of the original architecture. The town buzzes with activity, yet without the frenetic ‘rushing’ often experienced in large towns.

Napier was founded in 1838 when through a dispute between two neighbours, Michiel van Breda & Pieter Voltelyn van der Byl, over the location of the community church.

Michiel van Breda wanted the church sited on his farm, Langefontein, while Pieter Voltelyn van der Byl wanted it built on his property, Klipdrift. Neither van Breda nor van der Byl would give way, so churches were built in both places, the town of Bredasdorp growing around van Breda’s church and the town of Napier founded around van der Byl’s church, and being named after Sir George Thomas Napier, the British governor of the Cape Province at that time.

The Feeshuis, one of the oldest buildings in the town, was used as slave quarters during 1810–1820, and and then later as a wine cellar, was restored in 1988 to celebrate the town's 150th anniversary. The Dutch Reformed church was built in the form of a Greek cross with teak interior, unique with a beautiful pipe organ made of solid yellow copper. A toy museum and a watermill, a giant sundial at the municipal offices, and an ox Wagon monument (Kakebeenwa) to commemorate the Ossewa Trek of 1838 are some of the attractions you may want to view. The ox wagon monument has an impression of a wagon wheel track made in concrete to commemorate the well-known exodus of the dissident Afrikaners from the Western Cape

Along the main road you will find many restaurants, galleries and a host of interesting collector’s shops. Other activities include horse riding, hiking (Grootberg trail) and tractor rides, and rare species of fynbos as well as flocks of the South African national bird, the blue crane, can be seen in the area

The sundial was erected by Danie du Toit in 1965, who had no training in this field but gained his knowledge through meticulous observation. Time can be read from it, accurate to within 30 seconds.

In the distant past, Napier's main craftsmen were historically blacksmiths, a heritage which is commemorated by the annual Horse and Cart Festival. Other popular annual events are the Patatfees (Sweet Potato Festival), every June, and the Voet van Africa (Foot of Africa) Marathon which is run in mid-September.

With its narrow streets and quaint architecture, Napier is a town full of charm, and the beauty of the surrounding countryside is certain to enrich all and, impact to wish to return to enjoy the ambience of Napier again.

Napier is ideally situated in the Cape Agulhas Region with easy access to the seaside villages of Arniston/Waenhuiskrans, Struisbaai and L´Agulhas, which are just 30 minutes drive southward. If you want a quiet retreat amongst fynbos, barley and wheat fields, then look no further. You can ideally use Napier as a base to explore the Overberg or just relax.

This picturesque village is revitalising itself with folk lovingly restoring old homesteads and properties – rekindling the charm and beauty of the original architecture. The town buzzes with activity, yet without the frenetic ‘rushing’ often experienced in large towns.

Choose to break your journey at one of the excellent restaurants or eateries. From fine dining to wholesome homely fare, there will be something to suit all tastes among the friendly and welcoming choices you will find dotting the main thoroughfare.

Browse through quaint and interesting shops, ponder on the excellent artwork displayed in local galleries, taste the wines of the region and the new local vineyards, meet the locals as you browse and wander in this intriguing ‘hub’ of the Overberg.

Explore the town away from the main road – artist’s studios, cheese makers, home made preserves, an ice cream factory, a brewery, a wine maker, experts in the beautiful ‘fynbos,’ walking trails, horticulturalists, herb gardens and much more.

Napier is the perfect place to stay if you wanted a ‘base’ from which to explore the region – it has all the amenities and hospitality needed to serve as the launching pad to your travels around the region.[1]

References

Coordinates: 34°28′S 19°54′E / 34.467°S 19.9°E / -34.467; 19.9


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