and promoting the Huguenot history and heritage
Huguenot Museum in Franschhoek
The theme of the Huguenot Museum in Franschhoek
is the history of the Huguenots before and after their arrival at the Cape
of Good Hope.
The museum is the rebuilt Saasveld building,
the elegant 18-th century home of Baron Willem Ferdinand van Reede van
Oudtshoorn. He erected it around 1791 on his estate (next the the present
Street in Cape Town). All indications are that the architect was the
Louis Michel Thibault, and that the decorations on the
building were done by the well known sculptor Anton Anreith.
In 1954 the Dutch Reformed congregation
in Cape Town decided to demolish the building and to erect a youth hostel
in its place. Attempts to prevent the demolition were unsuccessful. It
was then proposed to erect the building elsewhere. In 1957 it was agreed
to rebuild Saasveld in Franschhoek (some 70 km away), next door
to the Huguenot Monument, and use it as a Huguenot Museum. Each brick was
numbered, and after transporting it 70 km to Franschhoek, was replaced
in its original position.
Entrance foyer of the
Huguenot Memorial Museum
The museum contains a large variety of
furniture, bibles, silwer ware, kitchen utensils, documents, relics and
artefacts which strikingly illustrate the life of the Huguenots at the
Cape of Good Hope.
Left: Bibles which belonged
to the Le Roux and De Villiers families.