The small town of Ladismith lies in a valley along Route 62 in the Western Cape of South Africa. It is a beautiful town nestled at the base of the Klein Swartberg Mountain.

Ladismith is a prosperous farming town which specialises in fruit, milk, wine, flowers, and mutton. This small town, with its ideal location, is a rich farming community and provides two thirds of the South Africa’s Apricots and Plums.

Although the town is small, its spectacular produce, myths, and fascinating history will make you fall in love with it.

Architecture

The Town has many Victorian houses with wide stone steps and elaborate exterior wrought-iron work.The styles range from Victorian, Neo-gothic, Edwardian, Cape Dutch Revival, Regency and Rural. Being able to see all the different styles of architecture in one visit is like walking through a history lesson. The architecture is a must see and taking photos will give you picturesque memories of your travels.

Places to visit

There are a few reason that Ladismith should be a top destination, and one of the most important is South African Wine. With Ladismith Cellars and other wineries, you can taste the true distinction of South African Wines. Also, there are a few notable cheese factories in the town which contribute to the local economy, as well as the local culture. The town also has a great classic gothic B&B that is a must stay.

Legends

Overlooking Ladysmith is the Swartberg’s 2203 m Toorkop, meaning ‘bewitched peak’. Legend has it that a witch was flying into the town and the mountains got into her way. This angered the witch and she flew into the mountains with such force that she broke through the peak. This caused the single main peak to be broken off forming two peaks. Whatever the case may be it makes for a great story and sets a beautiful mountain scene.

History

The town got its name in the 1800’s from the 14 year old Spanish child bride of Governor Sir Henry George Wakelyn Smith. Lady Juana Smith was one of the great beauties of Southern Africa. Two towns were named after her, and to distinguish between them the one in KwaZulu-Natal is spelt Ladysmith, while the one in the little Karoo of the Western Cape is spelt Ladismith.

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