Constantia, Cape Town
Top left: Groot Constantia. Middle left: The kramat of Sheik Abdurachman Matebe Shah in Klein Constantia. Right: The Cape Dutch homestead at Buitenverwachting. Bottom: a view of Constantia from Constantia Neck.
Street map of Constantia
|Municipality||City of Cape Town|
|Main Place||Cape Town|
|• Councillor||Liz Brunette (Ward 62) (DA)
Denis Joseph (Ward 71) (DA)
Carol Bew (Ward 73) (DA)
|• Total||23.9 km2 (9.2 sq mi)|
|• Density||530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||9.4%|
|First languages (2011)|
|Postal code (street)||7806|
Constantia is a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, situated about 15 kilometres south of the centre of Cape Town. The Constantia Valley lies to the east of and at the foot of the Constantiaberg mountain. Constantia Nek is a low pass linking to Hout Bay in the west.
Constantia is one of the oldest suburbs of Cape Town and is famed for its wine. The estate of Groot Constantia (Great Constantia) was established in 1684 by the Dutch Colonial Governor of Cape Town, Simon van der Stel. Other notable wine farms in the area include the oldest estate, Steenberg (Mountain of Stone), established in 1682, Buitenverwachting (Beyond Expectations), Klein Constantia (Small Constantia) and Constantia Uitsig (View of Constantia). Before the twentieth century, the region was noted for its exports of Vin De Constance a sweet dessert wine. Many years ago the trade was crippled by the arrival in the Cape of a parasite that attacked the vines.
In 1661, during the Dutch conquest of Sumatra, Sheik Abdurachman Matebe Shah and his companion Sheikh Mahmoud were exiled to Constantia by the Dutch. Sheik Abdurachman is regarded as one of the three people that first brought Islam to South Africa. The kramat at Klein Constantia is built on the site that Sheik Abdurachman is thought to have died in 1681 or 1682.
About 220 slaves worked over a period of 150 years on the land planted with vineyards, fruit and olive trees at the time of Van der Stel. A labour shortage after emancipation indicates that slaves moved away from the farms where they worked, but possibly stayed in the area. From the mid-1800s to the 1960s, Constantia remained a rural area of wine estates and white privilege in which African and coloured residents constituted the majority. They were farmers, farm workers, domestics and fruit and flower sellers and lived in the areas of Strawberry Lane, Sillery Road, Spaanschemat River Road and Ladies Mile Road. In 1961 Constantia was zoned as a White Group Area under the Group Areas Act. In the late 1960s inhabitants classified as coloured or African were forcibly removed to areas in the Cape Flats like Mitchell's Plain, Manenberg and Lotus River. On Heritage Day 2009, a plaque remembering the Strawberry Lane community was unveiled by Cape Town's mayor Dan Plato.
Mark Thatcher, the son of Margaret Thatcher, and Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, the brother of Princess Diana, both lived in Constantia. Mark's house is now owned by the Sahara Group. The historic Tarrystone House, once owned by Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer was listed for sale at R80 million.
The area is a major tourist hub outside of the central city area. Apart from its own wine route with centuries-old estates it has a number of fine restaurants with an international flavour such as Pastis (French), La Colombe (French) and Buitenverwachting Restaurant (modern European) – ranked among the Top 50 in the world, Constantia Uitsig, Mama Roma (Italian), Simons and more. Many of the homesteads along the wine route display Baroque and Cape Dutch architectural styles.
- Norman Henshilwood High School
- American International School of Cape Town
- Herzlia Constantia
- Constantia Primary School
- Constantia Waldorf School
- Reddam House
- The Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology
- Sum of the Main Places Constantia Heights, Alphen, Bel Ombre, Witteboomen, Glen Alpine, Eagles Nest, Constantia, Silverhurst, Rust-En-Vrede, Barbarossa, Deurdrif, The Vines(Constatia), Belle Constantia, Graylands, Constantia Village, Constantia Vale, Sillery, Huis-In-Bos, Hope of Constantia, Nova Constantia, Airlie, Fir Grove and Sweet Valley from Census 2011.
- "Cape Postal Codes of South Africa". Post. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- Elizondo, Lauren (24 August 2013). "Why You Should Know About South Africa's Western Cape Winelands". Dream Plan Go.
- MobileReference (2010). Travel South Africa Illustrated Guide & Maps.. Boston: MobileReference.com. ISBN 9781607789079.
- "Constantia's out-of-town feel". 15 Jul 2013. Property24.
- Mountain, Alan (2005). An unsung heritage. Cape Town: David Philip. p. 105. ISBN 9780864866226.
- Simone Haysom, Constantia to Grassy Park: blamelessness and belonging, in Historical Approaches, vol. 5, 2007, p. 64.
- Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Forced removals: A case study on Constantia, p. 26.
- Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Forced removals: A case study on Constantia, p. 13.
- Natasha Prince, Plaque unveiled on Heritage Day, Cape Argus, 25 September 2009.
- "Thatcher fined over 'coup plot'". BBC News. 13 January 2005.
- "Lightning hits earl's home". South China Morning Post. 16 December 1998.
- Brick, Darryn. "LUXURIOUS CONTANTIA VILLA WITH HOLLYWOOD APPEAL BOASTS MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES". Claremart Auctions.
- Nevitt, Lisa. "Restaurants at wine estates in Constantia Valley". Eating out in Cape Town’s oldest wine growing region. Cape Town Magazine.
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