Napier lies at the foot of the Soetmuisberg and is surrounding by rolling wheat and barley fields. Established in 1838, this beautiful little town still contains much of its old world charm. It is also fast gaining a reputation as an artists’ community, and plays host to numerous cultural events.
Winter time is when this charming village is in its full glory, with the surrounding fields illuminated in hues of greens and yellow. With all this natural beauty and its proximity to Cape Town, it is no wonder that so many city dwellers have made this town their chosen getaway destination. Many of the old houses have been bought by ‘weekenders’ and lovingly restored to their former grace.
Named after Sir George Napier – governor of the Cape at the time – Napier’s main crafters were historically blacksmiths. The Dutch Reformed Church has rather unusual architecture, is built in the form of a Greek cross with teak interior, and has an exceptionally beautiful pipe organ. One of the first buildings in Napier, the Feeshuis, was used as slave quarters between 1810 and 1820. Then, in 1988, to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary, this lovely old building was restored to its original design and former glory. Other interesting historic structures include the Ox Wagon monument, erected in 1888 commemorating the Ossewa Trek of 1838, and the giant sundial at the municipal offices.
With its narrow streets and quaint architecture, Napier is a town with great charm. Along the Main Road you will find many restaurants, galleries, and a host of interesting collectors’ shops. Other activities comprise horse riding, hiking (Grootberg Trail) and tractor rides. The countryside around Napier supports rare species of fynbos, and an abundance of bird life, including flocks of South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane, that can be seen in the fields around the town.
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