Huguenot Monument & Memorial Museum in Franschhoek, Western Cape
The Huguenot Monument which was designed by J C Jongens, completed in 1945 and inaugurated by Dr A J van der Merwe on April 17, 1948 was dedicated to the cultural influences that the Huguenots brought to the Cape Colony and eventually the whole of South Africa after their immigration during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The three high arches symbolize the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. On top of the arches is the 'sun of righteousness' and above that, the cross of their Christian faith.
The figure of a woman with a bible in her right hand and a broken chain in her left, designed by Coert Steynberg, symbolises the spirit of religious freedom in breaking the chains of religious subjugation, throwing off the cloak of oppression and standing on top of the world with her gaze fixed on a vision of things to come. The fleur-de-lis on her robe represents a noble spirit and character.
The water pond, reflecting the colonnade behind it, expresses the undisturbed tranquility of mind and spiritual peace and harmony that the Huguenots experienced after much conflict and strife.
Huguenot Memorial Museum
The Huguenot Museum in Franschhoek depicts the history of the Huguenots before and after their arrival at the Cape of Good Hope and contains a large variety of furniture, bibles, silverware, kitchen utensils, documents, relics and artefacts which strikingly illustrate the life of the Huguenots.
The museum was originally the elegant 18th century home of Baron Willem Ferdinand van Reede van Oudtshoorn which was erected on his estate in Cape Town around 1791.
In 1954 the Dutch Reformed congregation in Cape Town decided to demolish the building and to erect a youth hostel in its place. As attempts to prevent the demolition were unsuccessful it was then proposed to erect the building elsewhere. So each brick was numbered, and after transporting them 70 km to Franschhoek, the building was rebuilt in its original position.
Also on site are wine cellars joined by a colonnade, which bear the words Post Tenebras Lux, meaning after darkness [comes] light. It was the motto of the Protestants during the Reformation and is also inscribed on the Reformation Wall in Geneva, Switzerland.
There is a restaurant and wild flower garden making a beautiful picnic spot.
Good Friday & Christmas Day
Please note we are closed.
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