Showing posts from December, 2012

Graaff-Reinet : Monuments

Graaff-Reinet has a lot of monuments .   We tried to visit most of them.   I wrote about the Gideon Scheepers Monument  and the War Memorial  in previous posts.   We also visited the following monuments.   (I added the addresses at the end of the post because we had trouble finding some of them) Anglo Boer War Monument This monument is in a residential area and looks like it is in the backyard of a house. From the tourist office map the exact location is not clear and we had some trouble to find it.   The marble monument was erected in the memory of the fallen in the war for freedom, The Anglo Boer War, of 1899 to 1902. On the sides are bible scriptures in Dutch and the names those who were executed in Graaff-Reinet. It is a beautiful and moving monument but sadly the rifle was vandalized. Huguenot Monument This is a small monument erected behind the Town Hall in memory of the French Huguenot’s that came to South Africa in 1688. It is a small pyramid displayi

Graaff-Reinet : War monument

This beautiful memorial is in the square in front of the Town Hall.   The memorial of a bronze figure of the “victory Peace Angel” is mounted on a pedestal in the square.   It was erected in 1918 and has the names of the men from Graaff-Reinet who died during World War I.   The names of men who died in World War II were added on a later plaque.   I really enjoyed taking photos of the angel on the war memorial.   It stands between two beautiful buildings (Behind the Dutch Reformed Church and in front of the Town Hall) surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers.   The sun was shining very bright and made it difficult to take photos from certain angles. It is difficult to share negative information about places we visit.   I wrote and rewrote the next paragraph a few times.   Then I deleted it but changed my mind and included it in the post.   The unpleasant thing about Graaff-Reinet is the beggars that are everywhere.   We tried to be poli

Graaff-Reinet : Old Buildings

As I already wrote a few times on this blog, my husband and I love to visit churches and National Heritage Sites.   Graaff-Reinet is paradise for us because the town has more than 200 National Heritage Sites and some beautiful churches (like the “Groot Kerk”).   Almost every street has a house or five that were declared a National Monument.   We loved driving and walking in the streets and finding these old buildings around every corner.   Today I want to show some of these buildings: Parsonage Street Parsonage Street is one of the most historical streets in the town.   It stretches from Reinet House (link) on the one end to the Drosdy Hotel at the other end.   In this street are several national heritage sites as well as the Old Residency Museum and St James the Great Church Town Hall The foundation stone of the town hall was laid on 26 June 1902but building only started in 1910. It was named “The Victoria Hall” after Queen Victoria and a bust of her can be found abo

Graaff-Reinet : Groot Kerk

Graaff-Reinet has the most beautiful Dutch Reformed Church called the “Groot Kerk” (Translated to Big Church).   For years driving around this church was one of the highlights of our trips to my uncle’s farm. Groot Kerk with the bright Karoo sunlight In 2008 we spent a weekend in Graaff-Reinet for my cousin’s wedding and went inside the church for the first time.   I must say that the inside was a bit disappointing after seeing the pretty outside. This May we spend 2 days exploring Graaff-Reinet and a visit to this town would not be complete without a few photos of this beautiful church. This is the fourth church to be built on this site.   The first one burnt down before it was finished, the second was completed in 1800 but was torn down in 1822 and the third was completed in 1823.   The foundation stone of the current church was laid on 12 April 1886 and it was inaugurated in 1887.   J Bisset designed the church in the styl

Graaff-Reinet : Cemetery

On our way back into town from the Gideon Scheepers Monument we drove past an old cemetery and wanted to visit.   We have visited a few other cemeteries in the Eastern Cape and most are in very bad shape due to vandalism and neglect.   This cemetery was locked with a notice on the gate with 4 places where the key could be found (including the tourism office).   I think it is a very good solution because a) the cemetery is protected and b) visitors can still access the cemetery. We fetched the key at the tourism office and went back to the cemetery.   The cemetery was in a better condition than others we have visited but the grass and weeds were growing everywhere.   We started to walk around in Block A with the oldest graves and then through the rest.   (I had an unfortunate encounter with a thorn bush and ended with my right shoe and sock full of small thorns.   A few days later I was still finding some of them in the shoes)