What is the history of Bree Street? Bree Street is currently Cape Town’s trendiest road, with the highest concentration of hipsters in the Mother City: there’s no shortage of beards, hand-rolled cigarettes, and bespoke everything. But it also captures that old ‘main road’ feel of yesteryear, with upmarket crafts, beautiful architecture, and owner-run restaurants and bars. So join us on a little stroll down Bree Street, starting at the end closest to Parker Cottage… The name ‘Bree’ is an English derivative of the Dutch ‘breë’, meaning broad or wide. Like many old city center streets in South Africa, it was built to allow ox-wagons to do a U-turn.About halfway through your walk down this road, you’ll find Heritage Square (on the corner of Shortmarket Street). In the 18th century, this square was where residents could buy guns, wine, baked goods, tobacco, and snuff. It was set to become a parking lot, but thankfully became part of the city’s renovation project in the 1980s. Adjacent to Heritage Square is Riebeck Square, which sadly did become a parking lot. However, you will find St Stephen’s Church there – allegedly the only Dutch Reformed Church to bear the name of a saint. It was originally built as a theatre in 1800, only to become a church and school for freed slaves circa 1838. In 1965, it was declared a national monument.