Babylonstoren is a beautiful landmark in South Africa and is always the highlight of my trip when I visit the country. It is located in an area with an amazing view that has some of the largest mountains which include Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek. It also holds a famous garden that consist of both a wine vineyard and fruit groves. The area is now a popular hotspot and attracts many tourists. However, it is never overcrowded and doesn’t distract from the incredible surroundings this site has to offer.
Babylonstoren used to be a farmland that was inhabited by nomadic Khoisan communities for quite a few centuries. In 1692, the property was signed over to Pieter van der Byl and he planted the first vineyards to provide irrigation. In fact, some of the structures he created remain on the farm to this day. The fact that there is such a great combination of modern renovations and preserved, historical architecture is one of the main reasons why this place is so remarkable.
The manor house was built in the year 1777, but the other original buildings date back even further to the 1750’s. These structures include the Koornhuis (which was used to store wheat and grains), cellar, fowl house, dovecote, leaning bell tower and gates. Some of the newer renovations include a cow shed which was built into a successful, modern restaurant. Due to the increasing popularity of this landmark, they added a second restaurant called the Greenhouse. There are over 300 varieties of plants and fruits grown in the garden that are used to supply the restaurants, of which the menu is solely focused on fresh and organic dishes.
They’ve since built the Babylonstoren Farm Hotel of which the original architecture in design was taken into great consideration during its construction. It consists of white brick walls that create a calm, pleasant vibe that allows the colours of its surroundings to reflect and become even more vibrant. I love visiting this place to clear my mind and be at one with nature. The beautiful architecture and its aesthetic is very inspirational. It also makes for some great photography which as a blogger I highly appreciate!