Constantia, Cape Town

Constantia is one of the oldest townships of Cape Town and is famed for its wine, history and exclusive property.  The estate of Groot Constantia (Great Constantia) was established in 1685 by the Dutch Colonial Governor of Cape Town,  Simon van der Stel. Other notable wine farms in the area include the oldest estate, Steenberg (Mountain of Stone), established in 1682, Buitenverwachting (Beyond Expectations), Klein Constantia (Small Constantia) and Constantia Uitsig (View of Constantia). Before the twentieth century, the region was noted for its exports of Vin de Constance a sweet dessert wine. Many years ago the trade was crippled by the arrival in the Cape of a parasite that attacked the vines.

In 1661, during the Dutch conquest of Sumatra, Sheik Abdurachman Matebe Shah and his companion Sheikh Mahmoud were exiled to Constantia by the Dutch. Sheik Abdurachman is regarded as one of the three people that first brought Islam to South Africa.  The kramat at Klein Constantia is built on the site that Sheik Abdurachman is thought to have died in 1681 or 1682.  

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