MONUMENT

ABOUT

THE HUGUENOT MONUMENT

The 250th anniversary of the settlement of the Huguenots at the Cape was celebrated in 1938. The monument commemorates the event and expresses the descendants’ gratitude for their religious freedom.

The building of the Huguenot monument was started in Franschhoek in 1942. The architect was JC Jongens, a young Dutch immigrant. It was completed in 1945 at a cost of £22 000 and inaugurated on 7 April 1948. Coert Steynberg sculpted the central statue of a young Huguenot woman who personifies religious freedom.

The monument’s elegant simplicity gives it a classical character. Its spirit of freedom resonates with the sacrifices made by other groups in their search for religious and political freedom.

OVERVIEW

THE HUGUENOT MONUMENT

The Huguenot monument is situated in a garden landscape with the Franschhoek mountains in the background.

Symbolism

The monument celebrates the Huguenots’ successful struggle for religious freedom. The cross is right at the top with the sun of righteousness just below. The three high arches represent the Trinity. The woman holds a Bible and a broken chain to symbolise their triumph, and the pool their spiritual peace after great strife.

Setting and rose garden

The monument is set in a beautiful garden with rolling lawns and beds of roses. The mountains surrounding the Franschhoek valley form a dramatic backdrop. The roses remind the visitor that the Huguenots produced exquisitely flavoured rose-water from Autumn Damask roses.

Sundial

The names of most of the Cape Huguenots and the ships that brought them are engraved on the sundial. The sunpointer bears the Vaudois motto, Post Tenebras Lux or Light after Darkness.

GALLERY

THE HUGUENOT GARDEN

Enjoy our gardens against the slopes of Franschhoek mountains.

SYMBOLISM

THE HUGUENOT MONUMENT

The 250th anniversary of the settlement of the Huguenots at the Cape was celebrated in 1938.
The Huguenot Monument commemorates this event and conveys the descendants’ gratitude for their Protestant heritage.

DEDICATED: 17 April 1948 | ARCHITECT: J C Jongens | SCULPTOR: Coert Steynberg.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE MONUMENT

 

1. The cross of the Christian faith.

2. The Sun of righteousness.

3. The three arches: God who is one yet a Trinity.

4. The pool with its reflections and the colonnade provide a setting of tranquility and spiritual peace after great strife.

MEANING OF THE SYMBOLS

 

A. The figure of the woman, with the Bible in her right hand…

B. …and a broken chain in her left symbolises freedom of religion.

C. She casts off the cloak of oppression and stands above the earth in spiritual freedom gazing upwards towards a future full of optimism and hope.

D. The fleur-de-lis on her dress attests to the nobility of spirit and character.

E. At the southern point of Africa, where ships brought the Huguenots, appear the symbols of their faith (the Bible), their art and culture (the harp), their agriculture (the sheaf of wheat and the vine) and their industry (the spinning wheel).

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