Dutch Reformed Church Swellendam

NG Kerk Swellendam
We visited Swellendam in April.  The weather was lovely with sunshine but not to warm.  The evenings were cooler but still very nice.  The town has one of the most beautiful Dutch Reformed Churches. We took our first photos of the church Saturday evening during twilight.
NG Kerk Swellendam
On Sunday morning we returned to attend the church service at 9:30.  After an interesting sermon we asked if we could look around and take a few photos of the inside*.  The inside is quite plain with wooden pews with a beautiful pulpit.  The church has a beautiful organ and pretty ceilings.

*  The church is open for visitors during the week for a small fee but not on weekends.  We arrived in Swellendam at about 18:00 on Friday afternoon and were to late to see the inside.

NG Kerk Swellendam se orrelBinne NG Kerk Swellendam
Binne NG Kerk Swellendam
The congregation was established in 1798 and the first church building was completed in 1802. After lots of changes to the church the congregation decided to replace it with a new church.  The current church was designed by FW & F Hesse from Cape Town using different building styles (Baroque gables, Gothic windows and Eastern cupola).  It was inaugurated on 10 June 1911.
NG Kerk Swellendam se toringNG Kerk Swellendam se toring

The steeple is the replica of a famous steeple of a Belgium church (This information was in a pamphlet about the church but I am still trying to find which church).  It was built using the yellow-wood beams from the old church. 
Ingang na NG Kerk Swellendam
Grafte by NG Kerk Swellendam
Graf by NG Kerk Swellendam

The outside of the church is also interesting.  In 1840 the church and cemetery area was enclosed but a ring-wall but this wall has been moved twice.  Originally the cemetery contained more than 900 graves but only a few remain on the grounds today. After a walk through the graves we left the church through the 173-year-old gates.
NG Kerk Swellendam
NG Kerk Swellendam


  1. I've always wondered what the church look like inside. The sad part about the graves is the fact that there are so few of them left. Memories lost


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