From a pear tree to a beautiful church – the story of the Pearston Dutch Reformed Church

I get disappointed if I visit a small town and find that there isn't a historic church somewhere to visit and photograph. One of the towns that didn't disappoint was Pearston. Located on a very flat landscape the church is easily spotted in the town's very limited skyline. The village of Pearston is located 48km west of Somerset East in the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland. Like so many of the small towns and villages of the Karoo, the village had…

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Steynsburg, the small town with a big church

The town of Steynsburg in the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland developed around the Reformed Church which was established in 1872 and was administered by a village management board controlled by the church.  Steynsburg is named after Douwe Gerbrandt Steyn, grandfather of President Paul Kruger. The members of the Dutch Reformed Church from the district had to travel long distances (64km) to Burgersdorp by horse, horse cart and ox wagon to go to church and there was a need for their…

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The Moederkerk in the heart of Cradock

The first Dutch Reformed congregation (and also the first church) in Cradock was established back in 1824, 10 years after the town received its name.  The present Dutch Reformed Mother Church building, situated on the upper end of Church Street, was completed on the original site as the first church in 1868 at an apparent cost of some £24,500.  The building’s design was based on St. Martins-in-the-Field on Trafalgar Square in London.   At the opening ceremony, the builder refused to hand over the door…

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Nieu-Bethesda’s historic NG Kerk

Whenever I visit Nieu-Bethesda I just seem to be attracted to the historic Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk or NG Kerk). There is just something to this beautiful building in this tiny village that has me going back to it time and time again. Also, the fact that there are so many different angles to look at it and then add to it the time of day and different weather conditions. I did a post on the church last…

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Nieu-Bethesda’s historic Dutch Reformed Church

The historic Dutch Reformed Church is probably the biggest landmark in Nieu-Bethesda. It's perhaps not as famous as the Owl House or interesting as the Kitching Fossil Centre, but if it comes to landmarks, it stands out in town. I'm always in awe of the fact that such a magnificent building was constructed in such a small place and like to pop around when visiting the village. The village of Nieu Bethesda was established in 1875 on the farm Uitkijk…

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A historic walk around Graaff-Reinet

History buffs totally love Graaff-Reinet, what with it being the oldest town in the Eastern Cape (fourth oldest in South Africa) with about 220 listed historical buildings.  Best of all, you can see just about all the best ones on a relatively short walk around town.  And obviously, that is what we did otherwise I wouldn't be writing about it.  We parked our car in front of the Graaff-Reinet Tourism office, grabbed a map from the friendly staff in the…

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Graaff-Reinet – a gem discovered

Graaff-Reinet in the Karoo Heartland is often referred to as the Gem of the Karoo.  Spending a long weekend in the town just again proved to me that this gem isn't one buried deep under ground somewhere but rather has been unearthed and is mesmerizing those that get to visit it.  Located in a horseshoe created by the Sundays River and totally surrounded by the Camdeboo National Park, Graaff-Reinet is situated about three hours north of Port Elizabeth and the…

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The Graaff-Reinet church – looking rather ghostly

The last two months have been an absolute blur. Don't ask me where it went, I just know it's gone and I am exhausted.  But things are getting back to normal and hopefully I will get my blogging mojo back as well.  The pictures from our Graaff-Reinet weekend is lined up and just waiting for the words to be added.  In the meantime here is one I took of the Groot Kerk at the top of the main drag into…

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Somerset East’s whiskey bar in a church

I'm not much of a drinker preferring to do the sacrilegious thing of making beer shandy by throwing lemonade into a perfectly good beer.  But I am known to enjoy a good beer or wine tasting so it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that I'm doing a post on a place where you can do a spot of whiskey tasting.  As long as I only need to taste.  But this isn't sommer any place, it's a whiskey bar inside a…

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