ABOUT PARYS, FREE STATE:
Parys (pronounced /ˈpɑːreɪs/) is an infinitely abundant, rather picturesque country town. First of all, it is situated on the southern banks of the Vaal River in the Northern Free State of South Africa. A German surveyor named the town, consequently, a street was named after Mr. Schilbach. He participated in the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. As a result of its location next to the Vaal River, the town reminded him of Paris on the River Seine. Probably because of the weeping willow trees growing on the river banks. Parys is also the Afrikaans translation of Paris. Due to its location next to the river, it is a very popular tourist town. Probably because of its close proximity to the metropolis of Johannesburg which is less than an hour’s drive away. The Vaal River stretches for about 2-3 kilometres in either direction along the borders of the town.
WHAT TO DO IN PARYS:
Parys is famous for its main road, Breë Street. Probably, because this busy street is scattered with awesome shops, art galleries, antique dealers, pubs, delis, spas, restaurants, coffee shops, craft stores and lifestyle boutiques. Hence, there is something for absolutely everyone to enjoy along Breë Street! Furthermore, the best way to get the most out of the main road is to find a parking spot and walk it.
Finally, Parys is also famous for its adventure activities, due to it being situated within a world heritage site. Because of the topography and natural positioning of Parys, it has become a popular spot for all kinds of adventure sports. These include, but are not limited to, quad biking, mountain biking, hiking, abseiling, archery, water skiing, canoeing, angling, power boating, horse riding, 4x4 routes, obstacle courses, zip lines, gliding , river rafting, fly fishing, archery, paintball and much, much more. So, if you are an adrenaline junkie, you should probably pay us a visit.
OTHER ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND PARYS:
- Game drives. Especially relevant is the fact that Parys is part of the Free State Lion Route.
- Bird watching. Parys is a bird-watchers paradise. There are more than 250 different bird species in and around Parys. Most of all you should try to spot a Fish Eagle, it’s almost certain you will!
- Hot air ballooning. Soar over the beautiful Parys landscape in a hot air balloon and consequently experience the peace and tranquillity of a bird in flight.
- Guided Tours. Due to its location in the Dome, you should also go on a guided tour of the area with resident guide Jan Fourie.
In addition, you should visit the Dog & Fig Craft Brewery just outside Parys.
Furthermore, there are lovely hiking and mountain bike trails in and around the town.
Churches – the Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1899. It is just brimming with history, especially relevant is it’s connection to the Anglo-Boer War. Also, the Anglican Church that dates back to 1915. It was constructed from blue granite rock, consequently giving it a unique aesthetic appeal.
Suspension Bridge – probably, the most noteworthy attraction of Parys. The suspension bridge was built in 1918 to connect the golf island to the town.
Town Hall – the current town hall was built in 1930. It was built in the typical Art Deco Style of that era. The original town hall was destroyed by a fire.
Parys Museum – the museum will reveal fascinating insights about the history and heritage of Parys. The museum is situated within the old magistrate’s office opposite the town hall. It was built in 1904. Also, in 1986 it was declared a Provincial Heritage Site.
WORLD HERITAGE SITE:
In conclusion, what makes Parys most noteworthy? It is due to the fact, that it is situated within the Vredefort Dome Conservancy! The place of the oldest and largest meteorite impact site in the world! As a result, the Vredefort Dome was recently proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The geological wonders of the Dome are without a doubt, the stars of the show.