Graaff-Reinet Dutch Reformed Church

Landmarks / National Monuments / Religious in or near Graaff Reinet, Karoo Heartland in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsGraaff-Reinet Dutch Reformed Church

Where? 35 Church Street, Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape

How? Call +27 (0)49 892-2422

Overnight? Stay in Graaff Reinet, in Eastern Cape

You cannot miss Graaff-Reinet’s imposing Dutch Reformed Church. Also known as the Grotekerk, the Dutch Reformed Church holds the most imposing position in town, right in the middle of the town’s ‘square’ (which isn’t a square, but a traffic circle) on the northern end of Church Street.

When it comes to churches functioning as epicentres of a town, Graaff-Reinet’s handsome church, its ground plan in the shape of a cross, easily holds the title. The church is impressive for a small town in the middle of the Karoo.

Interestingly, this gorgeous Victorian Gothic revival church, loosely based on the Salisbury Cathedral in England, is not the town’s first church on Church Street, but its fourth (and the third on this very site).

The first was built in 1792, at a different spot on Church Street, but destroyed by fire before completion; the second, completed in 1800, on the same site as the NG church today, was demolished to make way for a third thatched roof and gabled church, completed in 1823; and finally, in 1886, the foundation stone, quarried in Adendorp some 10 km away, was laid for this incredible rendition, made from local stone and sporting an incredible steeple, in 1887.

It still attracts a healthy congregation on Sundays.

The NG Church is a heritage site, one of many heritage sites (national monuments) in town - Graaff-Reinet boasts the highest number of any town in South Africa.

To visit head to the back entrance where an optional donation fee will allow you to explore the incredible wooden interior. You will find it difficult to walk away without at least a couple of photographs.

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