Friday, July 30, 2010

Graaff Reinet Museums

The beautiful Karoo town of Graaff Reinet is South Africa's fourth oldest town. It has 220 heritage site (national monuments), more than any other town in South Africa and a number of these are magnificent examples of Cape Dutch architecture. The Graaff Reinet Museums take up some of these old Cape Dutch buildings and includes a fossil and rock art collection, period furniture and contemporary history exhibitions.

The main gem in the museum crown must be Reinet House containing the Graaff Reinet Museum. It was formerly a Dutch Reformed Church parsonage and was built in 1812. The museum contain mostly period furniture with two other prominent features being a mill house with a working water wheel and a grape vine planted in 1870.

The Old Residency is situated across the road from Reinet House and was built around 1819. Its a well-preserved example of the early 19th Century Cape Dutch H-shaped house and in addition to period furniture it contains the Jan Felix Lategan Collection of Historical Firearms and the William Roe Photographic Exhibition.

Urquhart House, just behind Reinet House, was built somewhere between 1806 and 1821 and stands on one of the earliest plots transferred into private ownership in Graaff-Reinet. This museums has an extensive collection of Victorian furniture, historic farm implements and a typical peach – pip floor which was popular in the time. The Military History Museum is on the same grounds and contain exhibits of all the wars this area was involved in.

9 comments:

  1. Interesting ... as usual! Cape Dutch buildings are so unique and special!
    Thanks for your comments on my 'new' blog! I still need lots of help though! Took me a while to work out/put together the latest blog but it was the same when I first started my initial blog. I still can't find a feeder/reader 'thing' or how to go back to my post (as in Blogger which says 'view post' ! - so simple!) Hoping J will come early to fetch boys so she can show me

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  2. What I meant to say was - it took me a while to put together the latest 'post' not blog !!!

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  3. Interesting architecture. I'd like to see the fossils too.

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  4. This brings back such wonderful memories. We had wonderful trips and holidays to the Cape through the Karoo. Diane

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  5. Spent some time wondering around here, Fascinating place.

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  6. What stunning buildings Jonker. I am sure if those walls could talk they would tell a tale ore two.

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  7. The jewel of the Karoo - Graaff Reinet. It is such a wonderful place - I know that a local eatery used to serve one of the best steaks south of the orange river.

    Not sure why, but the town has so many of those purple flowering trees (like Pretoria) and also quite a unique water duct system. Must have been a certain influence at a certain time. Another favourite spot is the Valley of Desolation - not far from there.

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  8. I love Graaff-Reinet. Stayed in the hotel there! It's such a pretty town.

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