Sometimes you find a great piece of architecture in close relationship with the surrounding gardens and landscape and Bosjes chapel is a great example of this. You can not separate the building from the gardens. This stunning chapel was built in 2016 on the Bosjes wine estate in the arid mountain area near Worcester. Both the chapel and garden got direct inspiration from the Bible and is packed with symbolism. Psalm 36:7, How Precious, O God, is Your constant love. We find protection under the shadow of Your wings, is the clear inspiration for the architecture. The almost floating wing-like structure is indeed protecting and sheltering the people within. At the same time the structure is also open to the surrounding landscape and gardens. This to make people aware of God’s stunning creation.
The garden, surrounding the chapel, might be a human creation, but is nevertheless filled with Biblical references. You can walk through a beautiful water feature symbolising Mozes crossing the Red Sea. And also the planting has direct links to the Bible. Many trees in the garden have even labels mentioning where they are mentioned in the Book. A great aspect in the garden is water and you’ll encounter it on different occasions. From small natural ponds, to more Moorish style small channels and even a symbolic spring out of rock. The latter you can find on a mount topped with an oak tree, from which you have a nice view on the whole of the gardens and the surrounding mountains.
This garden is still quite young, but already starts to get a lushness to it and will only get better and better. And when you want to take a rest, a sunken tea house is right there in the garden to serve you one of the best carrot cakes I have ever eaten (and I ate a lot already). Although relatively small this garden was more then worthwhile the trip, as it was definitely rather unique and has a clear vision.
The gardens and chapel are only a small part of the estate and you can enjoy a stay here and even a culinary treat at the Bosjes Kombuis restaurant. Nice to mention is that the estate is now funding a brand new school near the entrance for the local kids. From the plans it looks like an extra architectural gem will soon be added to this lovely place.
Bosjes Estate : Bosjes, R43, Western Cape, South Africa (In between Ceres and Worcester)