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Franschhoek was founded by the Huguenots, French protestants who fled prosecution in France for their religious convictions. At the Cape, 200 of the highly skilled and knowledgeable French settlers found a new home at the end of the 17th century. The Huguenots went into agriculture and introduced wine production in South Africa.
The Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek is a reminder of these immigrants. Many places and families in this area keep the French names of their origins, like Marais, Malherbe, De Villiers or Le Roux. There is also a Huguenot Memorial Museum in Franschhoek, opened in 1975 where history of the pioneers is on display.