About Babylonstoren

Cape Dutch Architecture

Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition. Not only the manor house from 1777, but pioneer structures all the way back to the founding of the farm in 1690. The Koornhuis (for storing wheat and hay) and the old cellar are exceptionally fine. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall.

  • The Years

    Yesterday at Babylonstoren

    The Drakenstein Valley was inhabited by nomadic Khoisan communities for tens of centuries. In 1692, when the borders of the Cape Colony expanded after the arrival of French Huguenots, the farm was granted by Governor Simon van der Stel to the burger Pieter van der Byl. He laid out the first vineyards and altered water courses to provide irrigation. The oldest buildings on the farm went up. Shortly after, Pieter and his wife were to play a role in the downfall of Simon’s son, the gouging Governor Willem Adriaan.

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  • The Years

    Today at Babylonstoren

    The days are intentionally unscripted at Babylonstoren, leaving guests free to do as they please. Stroll out onto the farm of 200 hectares and see fruit being picked in the orchards or vines being pruned – depending on the season. Enjoy a walk in the remarkable fruit and vegetable garden (guided if you feel like learning, or unguided for relaxation). Pick your own salad or enjoy a meal in the superb restaurant. Perhaps a massage in the spa after lunch? Or a stroll along a clivia lined stream? Then a swim in the farm dam or a bout in the gym, before sundowners at a picnic spot? Or rather sample some of the excellent wines grown on the slopes all around the Simonsberg, possibly the finest terroir for wine in Africa? You can choose. Or simply lounge and read, in summer in a hammock strung among tree trunks, in winter curled up before a fire.

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  • The Years

    Where we are

    Babylonstoren lies in the Drakenstein Valley between Franschhoek and Paarl. Surrounded by the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek Mountains, Babylonstoren is in the heart of the Cape Winelands. It is some 60km from the city of Cape Town and an easy 45 min drive from Cape Town International Airport.

  • The Years

    What we are

    Cape Dutch architecture is named for the style of the 17th and 18th century Cape of Good Hope. Characteristic features include soft, whitewashed walls of stone or primitive brick, ornate gables and thatched roofs.

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