Largest Town in the Bree River Valley
Founded in 1818 and named after the Marquis of Worcester, elder brother of the governor, Lord Charles Somerset, Worcester lies at the entrance to the Hex River Valley. Here the Bree River Valley is at its widest and a most imposing collection of mountains look down on the area.
Worcester is a busy commercial, communications and industrial area and is the most centrally located town in the Breede Valley. It is surrounded by the Brandwacht, Overhex and Langeberg Mountains and the Breede and Hex Rivers flow on either side of the town. Grapes are grown in vast quantities and there are many co-operative wine cellars in the district and several brandy distilleries which include the following:
Barley and peaches are cultivated.
Worcester has a spacious central square dominated by the tall tower of the Dutch Reformed Church. An Afrikaner museum is housed in an attractive cottage. The town is quaint with gabled buildings and water running in furrows along tree-lined streets.
The First World War Garden of Remembrance was designed by the landscape artist, Hugo Naude, who made his home in the town. The house has been converted into the Hugo Naudé Art Centre. The War Memorial stands in the Garden of Remembrance together with a stone cairn commemorating the symbolic Ossewa Trek of 1938, which honoured the pioneers of the Great Trek of 1838. Other cairns record the 150th anniversary of the Huguenots' arrival and Worcester's centenary.
On the outskirts of Worcester lies the Karoo Garden which covers 115 hectares of the foothills of the Brandwag mountains. This garden, opened in 1948, is devoted to the succulent plants of the Karoo. In spring it is ablaze with countless vividly coloured flowers. Throughout the year there are interesting plants to see, many of them such shy dwellers of the arid wilderness that ehe average person has little chance of studying them.
Mountain streams and rivers in the vicinity are well stocked with rainbow trout and black bass.
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