GOUDA WEB SITE
Welcome to Gouda's Web site. Gouda is a small village situated approximately 120 kilometers north from Cape Town, South Africa.
Click here for General Information
Click here for History
Click here for How to get there
Gouda is a small rural village surrounded by breathtaking mountains. It became well known because of the world famous Gouda cheeses. Apart from heavy snowfalls on the mountains during winter, visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery on local wine farms when exploring the wine routes. Gouda cheeses can be bought from local grocery stores while the visitor can enjoy the hospitality of the inhabitants and the tranquility of a small town forgotten in time where people do not lock their doors. The nearby Voelvlei dam and Bergriver are excellent venues for swimming, fishing, canoeing and yacht sailing while the mountains are perfect for hiking, bird watching and finding wild flowers like proteas and other rare and endangered species. Be careful however of snakes and wild baboons. Cheetahs have also been spotted on occasion.
The local hotel and guesthouses supply ample accommodation and the village has a railway station with a regular train service to and from Cape Town.
The friendly local inhabitants will provide more information regarding sites to visit, wine routes and other tourist attractions. Why not take a leisurely drive out to Gouda to explore its many mysteries.
Gouda was founded in the early 1800's on the farm La Bonne Esperance. The owners of the farm, three elderly sisters who immigrated from Gouda in Holland, donated the land for the establishment of a town on condition that it be called Gouda. Initially it was little more than a market place on Saturdays where local farmers could sell their produce, but after completion of the railway line between Gouda and Cape Town in 1875, the village expanded rapidly. A railway station was erected followed by hotels, shops, a post office, a butchery, a school, a church, a bank and a missionary station.
According to legend the Dutch Governor Simon Van der Stel was during one of his journeys brutally attacked by a rhinoceros at the very spot where Gouda is situated today. During the Anglo Boer war the British Army set up camp on Gouda and a rather dilapidated Blockhouse from this era can still be seen on the Farm Koopmansrivier, which farm incidentally was once owned by the brother of the well known Voortrekker leader Piet Retief. Word has it that when the Voortrekkers travelled through the area on their North, they set up camp in the area for a few nights.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Cape Town, take the N1 to Paarl. Then drive through Wellington, past Hermon and take the Porterville turn off just before the Nuwekloof pass. Follow the Porterville road for approximately 500 meters and then turn left. Gouda is about an hour and 50 minutes' drive from Cape Town.
The most famous inhabitant of Gouda was Dr T W De Jongh who was Governor of .the South African Reserve Bank for years and who was born on and grew up in Gouda.
During the 1920's Paul Andrag, a German immigrant founded a missionary station on Gouda. He later started an engineering business on Gouda, known as P Andrag & Sons, which later moved its head office to Belville and which is today well known in the motor industry. A street in Gouda has been named after the late Paul Andrag.
The Kotze, Smuts, Van Tonder and Marais families have been living in and around Gouda for generations and are synonymous with the town's unique character.
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