Oudtshoorn was founded after farmers settled along the Olifants and Grobbelaars rivers in the Western Cape. The town developed on both sides of the Grobelaars River, but unfortunately during rainy season the river became a roaring torrent which tended to wash away everything in its path, making it very difficult for residents to commute from one side of town to the other.
Residents of Oudtshoorn lived with this inconvenience for many years until in 1913 the Town Council at last approved the construction of a suspension bridge in Church Street, opposite the centre of town. It was approved in order to link the fashionable residential area of Westbank with the centre of town.
The bridge was made by the London based, Scottish firm of Rowley & Sons. The consulting engineers were Hitchers & Booth, also based in London. The construction of the bridge was completed during 1914. The bridge has a single span of 91 metres and is arched in the centre. The towers on both sides are made of latticed steel and are 9 metres high. In 1964 the suspension bridge was declared a National Monument.
There is a wonderful view of the Swartberg Mountain from the bridge, it is a must see when visiting the town of Oudtshoorn.
There is no admission fee.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 32˚C with high rainfall in March and October/November.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 20˚C with the lowest rainfall in June and July.
Commercial Airlines offer flights into George Airport, 56 km away from Oudtshoorn. Car hire facilities are located at the Airports.
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