Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition. Not only the manor house from 1777, but pioneer structures all the way back to the founding of the farm in 1690. The Koornhuis (for storing wheat and hay) and the old cellar are exceptionally fine. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall.
Babylonstoren lies in the Drakenstein Valley between Franschhoek and Paarl. Surrounded by the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek Mountains, Babylonstoren is in the heart of the Cape Winelands. It is some 60km from the city of Cape Town and an easy 45 min drive from Cape Town International Airport.
The Babylonstoren garden is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape, where for centuries ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia. It also hales back to the mythical garden of Babylon.
The Babylonstoren garden lies behind the main house and borders the guest suites. Laid-out according to a systematic grid, there are three axis points. The bell tower axis and historic cellar axis cut parallel through the garden east to west. The Babylonstoren hill axis runs along the historic werf (homestead) axis parallel to the road historically connecting Cape Town to Franschhoek.
Cape Dutch architecture is named for the style of the 17th and 18th century Cape of Good Hope. Characteristic features include soft, whitewashed walls of stone or primitive brick, ornate gables and thatched roofs.
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