The town of Malmesbury was originally inhabited by the Khoi and San people and the first expedition in the area was undertaken back in 1655, under the command of Jan van Riebeeck, only three years after the Dutch explorers had colonised the Cape. Malmesbury has a rich history from the time of the first settlers being drawn here by a sulphur chloride mineral spring renowned for its healing abilities to its place as the "Heart of the Swartland" as it is known today.
Today the wonderful Malmesbury Historic Route guides you through the historic hub of Malmesbury to experience the town through the eyes of a 19th century visitor. This Route should be the first activity on your list in order to visit historic landmarks such as the Museum and the Swartland Dutch Reformed Church which is the fifth oldest congregation in South Africa.
Along the Route you will visit buildings dating as far back as 1830 such as Leodolf House, an important structure in the Malmesbury landscape. It was owned by Hugo Hendrik Leodolff, a Member of Parliament and a controversial man in Church circles. Various styled buildings will be encountered along the way including Victorian, Edwardian and Cape Dutch, all beautifully preserved or restored. The Baron von Elgg stately home is the only remaining double storey mansion in the town and has been excellently preserved by a series of private owners.
If it’s history and beautiful architecture you seek, grab your map from the Tourism Office and begin this delightful journey through Malmesbury.
This is a self-guided tour and there is only a nominal charge for the map and information from the Tourism Office.
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