Heidelberg Heritage stops

Stop 1: Old Heidelberg Station – 24 September 1894

Stop 1: Old Heidelberg Station – 24 September 1894

The impressive station building is the closest the town of Heidelberg would ever come to a masterpiece such as the ‘Mona Lisa’.  This imposing building is designed by the architect, V von Lissa of the NZASM (the “Nederlandsche Zuid Afrikaanse Spoorweg...

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Stop 2: Voortrekker street : 1938 Centenary

Stop 2: Voortrekker street : 1938 Centenary

We now depart from the Old Station building down Voortrekker Street.  It was everything but a downhill path for the Voortrekkers’ freedom struggle.  As part of the Great Trek, the Voortrekkers ventured from the Eastern Cape, which had been under...

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Stop 3: Ueckermann street:  East,  West, German best!

Stop 3: Ueckermann street: East, West, German best!

Ueckerrmann Street starts at the present day round about next to Blesbok Spruit inclining to the Old Jail. It runs parallel to Voortrekker Street on both sides of the old market and church squares. Not only did the square determine the location, scale and proportions...

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Stop 4: HF Verwoerd street and the assassination.

Stop 4: HF Verwoerd street and the assassination.

HF Verwoerd Street is part and parcel of the “struggle” route in Heidelberg, therefore could not be missed. This street was formerly named Church Street with the Klipkerk as the centre. As part of the centenary, HF Verwoerd unveiled the memorial stone on 27 June...

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Stop 5: Klipkerk – the cornerstone of Heidelberg

Stop 5: Klipkerk – the cornerstone of Heidelberg

TF Carter in his book, “ A Narrative of the Boer War” said that the Klipkerk leaves a “…a presence on your mind- a splendid example of the church militant here on earth, or rather I should say here on stone, because the capital of the South African Republic has...

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Stop 6: Old Town Hall – triumvirate of the ZAR

Stop 6: Old Town Hall – triumvirate of the ZAR

The struggle for independence and freedom from the British annexation and Apartheid are witnessed by the Town Hall, situated in the old town square. Commandant Christiaan de Wet, the leader of our local Roodekop Commando, and later well-known commanding officer during...

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Stop 7: Laer Volkskool – mother tongue education

Stop 7: Laer Volkskool – mother tongue education

The truce in May 1902 marked a new struggle.  According to proclamations, all public school commissions as well as school properties were united in favor of the Milner reign.  The public school in Heidelberg was founded by magistrate FK Maré on the...

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Stop 8: “My Sarie Marais” on Scottish tune

Stop 8: “My Sarie Marais” on Scottish tune

We now depart from Laer Volkskool’s memorial Hall down Begeman street, named after Rev. Begeman.  We take a turn left in van der Westhuizen Street, named after the son-in-law of Jacobs after which Jacobs street was named.  We then turn left in...

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Stop 9: Dr. James O’Reilly our own 007

Stop 9: Dr. James O’Reilly our own 007

From the Anglican Church we take a right turn into Pretorius street.  It was likely named after one of the well known “Driemanskap” the former president of Transvaal, MW Pretorius.  The Waverley Hotel stood on the corner which was used as a...

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Stop 10: The old jail – Captain, oh Captain!

Stop 10: The old jail – Captain, oh Captain!

The first magistrate, FK Maré, requested the building of a jail to prevent prisoners escaping.  Ueckermann volunteered land and the jail was erected.  It would serve as the first hospital and was later used to keep prisoners of war.  It’s...

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Stop 11: The Kloof Cemetery – where secrets lie…

Stop 11: The Kloof Cemetery – where secrets lie…

Ecclesiastes confirms that there is a time for everything. When wandering through the cemetery, we become aware of the people who fought in the struggle. They are the pillars on which we have build the future. Many died triumphantly and others just died. Heidelberg’s...

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Stop 12: Fenter street – for those in the know

Stop 12: Fenter street – for those in the know

The farm Langlaagte 172, on which Heidelberg was founded in 1859, belonged to OA Strydom and his brother-in-law JL Venter. Apparently Fenter Street was named after him and he would have care less whether his name was spelt with an “F” or a “V”. Fenter Street leads in...

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Stop 13: The Old Drostdy versus de Rust.

Stop 13: The Old Drostdy versus de Rust.

Two of the most imposing homes in Heidelberg have the same building style. These were erected close to the turn of the century. One of them is situated 3 km outside Heidelberg on the R42 route to Vereeniging/Meyerton. The influential Bezuidenhouts, after whom Bez...

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Stop 14: Barrel Oven has living waters

Stop 14: Barrel Oven has living waters

As we drive down H.F Verwoerd Street in the direction of the Kloof Spruit, we find a very important beacon or monument. It is situated in the play park close to the water stream across the Life Suikerbosrand Clinic. This almost sunken piece of construction, is not...

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Stop 15: The Heidelberg Heritage Guesthouse

Stop 15: The Heidelberg Heritage Guesthouse

The strategic location of Heidelberg played an enormous role to host important personalities.  The age old rule of location, location, location is to be implied here.  The streets of Heidelberg connected the town previously with the outside world....

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Stop 16: Maré Street –  Silence in court.

Stop 16: Maré Street – Silence in court.

The previous main street in Heidelberg which connected the North and South was Market-, or Voortrekker Street as it is known since 1938. It placed emphasis on the church and town square, which typically expanded in a grid pattern. Voortrekker and Ueckermann Streets...

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Stop 17: Strydom Street – you can bank on it

Stop 17: Strydom Street – you can bank on it

The farm, Langlaagte 172, became the property of DJJ Strydom in 1859.  In the same year, his son, Ocker Andries Strydom and son-in-law, JL Venter became the new owners.  Strydom Street was named after the formerly co-owner of the farm...

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Stop 18: House of Malan: Justus prevails

Stop 18: House of Malan: Justus prevails

On the corner of Strydom and Van der Westhuizen Streets, we find a house which tells an interesting story of coincidence.  It was once the home of the Malan family.  The father was the principal of Hoër Volkskool and his son, Jannie Malan would...

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Stop 19: The AG Visser Residence – Amakeia

Stop 19: The AG Visser Residence – Amakeia

AG Visser (1/3/1878 – 10/06/1929) first became a teacher.  He started his teaching career in October 1896 at the Public School at Carnarvon.  Two years later he became the principal and his initial salary was only R340.00 per annum, with a R68...

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Stop 20: The old NG manse, struggle fortress

Stop 20: The old NG manse, struggle fortress

The old Dutch Reformed Parsonage across the AG Visser residence on the corner of HF Verwoerd and Van der Westhuizen Streets, was the result of a brotherly strife and church division.  After the First Anglo Boer War, the Afrikaners tried to unify the Reformed...

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Stop 21:  Alpha base, security and training

Stop 21: Alpha base, security and training

The founder of Heidelberg hoped that like his alma mater of Germany, Heidelberg here in South Africa would develop into an education hub. Heidelberg grew as an education institution from the basement of the Klipkerk. The education of war orphans started there and made...

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Stop 22:  Hoër Volkskool – Vir Volk en Vaderland

Stop 22: Hoër Volkskool – Vir Volk en Vaderland

After the Anglo Boer war (1899-1902), Lord Milner implemented an all English policy.  This made the Afrikaners even more resistant and bitter toward the British.  British public referred to the Afrikaners as “boors”.  This according to...

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Stop 23:  The new cemetery, old concentration camps

Stop 23: The new cemetery, old concentration camps

The resistance and freedom route takes us to the new cemetery. It is located, South-East of town and near the crossing of the N3 and R42 (Nigel road).On this very spot some of the greatest self-sacrifices had been paid.  Following the British annexure of...

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Stop 24:  Station Road – economy of scale

Stop 24: Station Road – economy of scale

For the resistance and freedom movement to succeed, we should strive for economic progression.  The route today takes us down Station Road. Economic growth needs a will.  Due to Heidelberg’s strategic location the railway connected the Old...

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Stop 25:  Rensburg – haunted  for recognition

Stop 25: Rensburg – haunted for recognition

We have to cross the railway line on our way to Rensburg.  In the past we would have passed the Asiatic Bazaar that have since moved to Shalimar. We are greeted by Jopie Fourie Street, named after an Afrikaner martyr of the 1914 Rebellion.  The...

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Stop 26:  Magogoweni, alias the old Skom

Stop 26: Magogoweni, alias the old Skom

According to the General Plan of Heidelberg dated 1910, the first black township was located where the industrial area is today next to the Balfour/Standerton road. The only current reminder of its existence is the cemetery that remained.It was known as Magogweni or...

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Stop 27:  ‘Antipas’ Mokoena and the sjebeens

Stop 27: ‘Antipas’ Mokoena and the sjebeens

Ruins of a missionary church dating back to 1897 can be seen close to Ratanda.  Jomo Kenyatta once commented: “When the missionaries arrived the African had the land and the missionaries had the Bible.  They taught us to pray with our eyes closed,...

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Stop 28:  Heidelbergroad @ Ratanda

Stop 28: Heidelbergroad @ Ratanda

The main street in Ratanda, or as it is referred to, “the big road”, is Heidelberg Road. It takes you through Ratanda and played an interesting part in the history of Ratanda. Initially, there was a lot of conflict between the Zulu and the Sotho communities at the...

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Stop 29:  Shalimar Ridge, the garden of remembrance

Stop 29: Shalimar Ridge, the garden of remembrance

The Indian Bazaar was previously located at the entrance to Rensburg. Rensburg was where the first Hindu temple stood, whilst Heidelberg central in Van der Westhuizen Street was home to the second oldest mosque (1903) in the old Transvaal.  F M Badat was the last...

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Stop 30: The highest point in a town in Gauteng

Stop 30: The highest point in a town in Gauteng

On our tour through Heidelberg a gravel snake road takes us, up the hill to a birds eye view of the whole of Heidelberg.  This is our “el camino” and when you reach the top you recall all the heritage stops and the influence it had on South African history....

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