About St Martini Evangelical Lutheran Church

Established by German immigrants in 1861, St Martini is the first German Lutheran Synod in South Africa. It was built when the Lutheran Church split and a new church, called St Martini the Evangelical Lutheran Church, was erected in Long Street, where it still stands today.

Did you know? St Martini Evangelical Lutheran Church is at 24 Long Street, in the centre of Cape Town. It also runs a German kindergarten and preschool from the premises.

St Martini's heavily influenced the architecture and building of other Lutheran churches in the Cape, like those in Bellville, Wynberg, Paarl, Philippi and Stellenbosch.

There is a lovely story accompanying the church bells. Originally St Martini had three bells, made by the Friedrich Gruhl foundry in Germany, and shipped to Cape Town (the church was still supervised by the Royal Regional Consistory of Hanover, in Germany at the time).

Only two of the three original bells made for the church survive today. One is called Luther and is the Gebetsglocke, or prayer bell. The smaller Gruhl bell is called Franziska, the Taufglocke, or baptism bell. Both are decorated with the angels synonymous with the foundry.

The bell-making Gruhl foundry was a family-run business in Kleinwelka, Bautzen, in what is today the former East Germany. It made between 1 700 and 2 000 church bells whilst it ran, between 1803 and 1896.

Most of these were destroyed during the two World Wars, but South Africa's bells survived.

Another two Gruhl bells grace the Moravian Church in Genadendal, just outside Greyton, each of which is embellished with four carved heads of angels, a trade mark of the founders. The Moravian missions at Mamre and Enon also each have a Gruhl bell.

Stellenbosch's Dutch Reformed Church had three Gruhl bells. But these were replaced in 1986 and now two of them hang in a bell tower on a farm in Riviersonderend.

The Dom St Petri (St Peter's Cathedral), one of the most important churches in Saxony, lies in Bautzen's old city, directly opposite the Town Hall. It has five Gruhl bells.

Need to Know

WhereSt Martini Evangelical Lutheran Church, 240 Long Street, Cape Town Central, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

WhenPlease enquire.

Telephone+27 (0)21 423-2720

OvernightStay in Cape Town Accommodation, Western Cape


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.


If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Cape Town

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to St Martini Evangelical Lutheran Church

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Western Cape Accommodation / Cape Town Accommodation

Cape Town as a destination