Marianne is a young, vital woman, a fictional character who personifies the French Republic and its ideals: Liberty, Brotherhood, and Equality. She is the face on European Union Euro coins, French postage stamps, and New York City’s Statue of Liberty.
Originally, depictions of Marianne were crafted to conceal the features of any one recognizable model. For the last 50 years, however, the French government has enlisted a succession of celebrities to lend their faces to this personification of the French Republic. Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, and Laetitia Casta have each appeared, cast in stone, in Town Halls throughout France.
The town of Stellenbosch and the Simonsberg mountain are both named in honour of Simon van der Stel. van der Stel was the first Governor of the Cape Colony and the founder of South Africa’s oldest Wine Estate: Groot Constantia. Stellenbosch was established in 1679, making it the second oldest town in South Africa, after Cape Town.
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