Thursday 11 February 2016
Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, and historian, born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, now based in London. read more
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Wupperthal in die Wes-Kaap

Deep in the Cedarberg, in the northern reaches of the Western Cape, there is a lovely little Moravian mission in a valley called Wupperthal. Unless you have a 4×4, there is just one road in and out of the valley, and even that road can be a bit tricky for conventional vehicles. Barefoot children, smiling and carefree, play in the streets beneath the avenue of eucalyptus that perfectly frames the beautiful church. Genadendal is the most famous of the Moravian missions, but Wupperthal was actually founded by Rhenish missionaries, before briefly becoming Dutch Reformed in the middle of the last century, and then taken over by the Moravians, or Herrnhuters as they are called in Afrikaans, after the Sorbian stronghold of the Unitas Fratrum.

Looking at the rear of the church, with the police station in the middle distance and the post office on the right.

This post was published on Saturday, February 28th, 2009 2:49 pm. It has been categorised under Architecture South Africa and been tagged under , .
  1. Brad
    1 March 2009
    4:00 pm

    Any chance you’ll make it to the Test cricket Andrew?

    Looks like it’s shaping up to be a to great series.

  2. ronan
    2 March 2009
    6:59 pm

    I lived a few years in South Africa (pre 1994) and really loved the place.Good piece on the Afrikaners : they have been reviled by so many people as in fact they did a good job with the country….now it’s another story.

  3. 3 March 2009
    1:30 pm

    Good Lent from Santander, Spain!!

  4. 7 March 2009
    11:49 pm

    Beautiful photos. There is nothing quite like Dutch Colonial architecture.

  5. 2 May 2010
    8:51 am

    One of my intended destinations on my next visit to the Republic will be to drive up from Cape Town to Wupperthal. While thinking about this trip and because I live very near Wuppertal, Germany, I decided to see what the connexion was to the one in South Africa. A little surprise … Wupperthal, Western Cape was founded in 1830. It is called that because its founders Theobald von Wurmb and Johan Gottlieb Leipoldt came from the Wupper Valley in Germany’s lower Rhineland. However, Wupperthal, South Africa was founded almost 100 years before Wuppertal, Germany. In 1929 the communities of Barmen, Elberfield, Vohwinkel, Ronsdorf, Cronenberg, Langerfeld, and Beyenburg were merged. After merging the community was called Barmen-Elberfeld and only after 1930 did it assume the name of Wuppertal. German Wuppertal is famous for the Schwebebahn (a suspended monorail still operating from the beginning of the 20th century … ).

  6. leona
    12 February 2013
    9:00 pm

    Yor dit is ng di mooiste Plek ooit

  7. Jorika
    27 May 2014
    12:42 pm

    I was married in that little chapel at ten past one at night. One night a long time ago.
    The villagers were our guests of honor… And bridesmaid and best ‘man’.
    It was unlike any wedding I have ever heard of.

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