|Eendracht before it was
Photo circa 1910.
|Before the new Eendracht
was build as a replica of the old, archaeological diggings were
done and the history extensively researched.
|Some of the relics found.
A display of the most interesting relics is in the foyer of
Accompany us through the streets of Stellenbosch where one becomes part of the history. Experience the Stellenbosch sentiment, for this is not a town, but a feeling, an unforgettable ambience.
On a hot summer’s day, the sun shines through the lush green oak leaves, making ever-changing patterns in the breeze on the white-washed cape Dutch buildings. After dark, when the same moon as in 1679, shines through the oak leaves, creating patterns on the softly lit Cape Dutch buildings. One feels part of the days gone by. In the winter, a softer glow, slows action and one often reminisces besides log fires.
Eendracht was erected in the oldest part of Stellenbosch, next to the Village Museum that consists of the four historical houses in Stellenbosch and forms the core of the historic town.
At 161 Dorp Street stands the interesting and atmospheric building of the Eendracht Hotel. The site of this double-storey building, and the parking area behind, is on the original part of the island on which Simon van der Stel camped during his first exploration of the valley of the Eerste River. The island has long since vanished but the river flows merrily seawards past the east side of the parking ground.
The first building on the site was a simple little two-roomed thatched cottage erected by a French lady, Sarah Couchet, widow of Guillaume du Toit. She built her cottage after the disastrous Stellenbosch fire of 1710. She died in 1714 and a succession of owners added additional rooms and made modifications to the cottage in order to accommodate larger broods of children and relatives.
Archaeological research on the site of this old cottage has revealed many interesting relics of the various owners. Chinese porcelain, kitchen utensils, fragments of linen, early smoking pipe bowls, and metal fragments from an early iron, copper and silversmith's work yard. A particularly interesting occupant of the cottage was the artist Jan Adam Hartman who lived there during the period 1790-1801. He practically rebuilt the place in a square shape with several additional rooms.
From 1890 to 1960 the building was substantially rebuilt to become a double storey student boarding house. This had to make way for the A.P. Venter Hall and Park. The Lutz Trust reconstructed the building using the original architectural style. It became the Eendracht Guest House and now the Eendracht Hotel.
The building epitomises Stellenbosch since its very beginning with Governor van der Stel encamped on the island site in what was first named Van der Stel se Bosch.
The warm, tangible atmosphere as well as good eating and friendship make Eendracht a very unique and special place to visit.