Prince Albert, Western Cape

Prince Albert

The legendary Swartberg Hotel in Prince Albert.

Prince Albert has to be one of the most beautiful, attractively-set towns in the Karoo.

There’s something magical about sitting on Robert Gordon’s Koppie just before dawn and watching the first rays light up the rows of Karoostyle homes clustered below the rather grand sweep of the Swartberg range of mountains.

Prince Albert, which is more than 250 years old, has attracted a large group of artists, wordsmiths, retirees, academics and even an old-time blacksmith, all of whom have made the jump from the big city to country living – in style.

And possibly because of all this creative capital, Prince Albert tells its story really well, in the form of an interesting museum, any number of festivals, a series of info booklets, a local newspaper and a website that keeps you up to date with town developments.

Prince Albert has become renowned for its storytellers who use all manner of anecdotal device to communicate the magic of their home town to visitors.

The late Jan Schoeman aka Outa Lappies aka The Patchwork Man was the Western Cape Province’s Tourism Personality of 2001. Wherever he lived in the area, you would find him fashioning something interesting out of junk: pieces of glass, tin and wire. He would burn little messages into pieces of wood, and his most memorable saying was:

‘Every day, I must make something out of nothing.’

Every town needs an historian. Prince Albert has been blessed with many academics, writers, artists and communicators.

But the person who has done the most for the village in terms of recording its history and lifestyles is the late Helena Marincowitz. You can still buy her insightful little booklets on Prince Albert’s architecture, geology and folk lore – all available at the local museum.

locovers0001  Find our new e-Book, 101 Karoo Towns, HERE.

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