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Bothmanskloof Pass     
 
Background

First built in the 1700s and upgraded through the years by the Divisional Council, Bothmanskloof (or Bothmaskloof Pass) descends the Kasteelberg on the R46 into the Riebeeck Valley, with its olive groves and vineyards spread out below.

Across the valley are the Groot Winterhoek Mountains with the higher Witzenberg behind.

Hugging the slopes of the mountain is Riebeeck Kasteel and then just a few kilometres from there Riebeeck West.

Today the Riebeeck Valley is known for olives, wheat, and wine, with vines cascading from the mountain in regimental rows.

The history of the two villages starts with an inland discovery expedition sent out by Jan van Riebeeck in 1661.

They climbed over the Bothmanskloof Pass, already there probably as a footpath forged by large herds of animals. Here they saw 13 quagga, five rhino and thousands of wildebeest. This was an ideal outpost for the expedition, within sight of Cape Town. A cannon was erected on the mountainside.

In the 1850s the two villages agreed to build a church but, halfway through its construction, the wealthier residents of Riebeeck West pulled out to build another.

De Oude Kerk in Riebeeck Kasteel was the first to open in 1855, but three years later it was Riebeeck West that had the first congregation, because they could fund a dominee.

This event created a rift, which has now become friendly rivalry.

Allesverloren is the birthplace of of DF Malan, in 1874.

According to legend, the governor of the Cape left the land to the widow Cloete.

This brave woman was one of the first settlers to venture into the inhospitable Swartland.

In 1704, on her return from one such journey, they found the house burnt to the ground and the farm destroyed, allegedly by the Khoisan; hence the estate's sad name, Allesverloren.

 

 
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