Set between the majestic Outeniqua mountains and the rugged Southern Cape Coastline, surrounded by forest and nestled on the banks of the lagoon, lies Knysna, paradise, in the heart of the Garden Route. The unique mix of water and forest, drop out and executive, tin shack and state–of-the-art architecture combines to make Knysna a fascinating town – one with a romantic history and a bright future.
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George Rex, founder of Knysna, established himself as a timber merchant here in 1804. Guarding the entrance to the lagoon are The Heads, the gateway to the old harbor, today known as Thesens Jetty, from where ships carried timber to the far corners of the world. Knysna also became well known as the Mecca of indigenous wood furniture. The beauty of the area servers as an inspiration to the artists working with only the finest indigenous timber, carefully selected with texture, pattern and grain in mind, making every piece of furniture a piece of art.
Believed by many to be fathered by King George 111, very little is left of George Rex’s estate, besides his grave which can be found off the N2 leaving town enroute to Plettenberg Bay. Nevertheless, his legend lives on. It is still this blend of legend, history past and present, which gives Knysna its romantic quality and has been the inspiration for the setting of Dalene Matthee’s famous novels. Her characters have become synonymous with Knysna – the forest, the elephants and the people.
Find out more about:
• Knysna's historic places of interest
• Dalene Matthee’s famous novels
• Gareth Patterson and the Knysna Forest Elephants
• The Knysna Timber Route
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