Dutch Reformed Church – Groote Kerk

  • inter_Groote_Kerk1

Place Category: City Walk: Interfaith Route

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    9 April, 1678 first sod turned, making this the oldest church in South Africa.

    28 December1700 foundation stone laid by Governor WA van der Stel.

    6 January, 1704 first service.

    1725 bell weighing more than half a ton crashed to the ground.

    1726 new bell made in Amsterdam which still hangs in the Church.

    1752 baptismal font made of Cape silver by Johan Hasse installed.

    August 1770 clock for tower ordered from Amsterdam, added in 1773, replaced in 1829. This is South Africa’s oldest public clock.

    1753 organ installed.

    1779 Church enlarged.

    1789 pulpit carved by Anton Anreith (1775 – 1822) and Jan Jacob Graaff from wood from India (£400). The baroque heraldic lions represent the power of faith.

    1800 a second bell installed.

    31 January, 1841 Church consecrated after being rebuilt by Herman Schutte

    1849 gas lights installed.

    1896 electric lights installed.

    Objects of interest: Architecture a mix of Gothic, Classical and Egyptian styles; Eastern wall and tower with clock are portions of the original building; ceiling of plasterwork is one large arch unsupported by pillars; flagstones of Batavian salt stone; inscriptions in aisles commemorate six early governors buried underneath the floor; tombstones of family vaults are set into the floor; Baron van Rheede van Oudtshoorn’s tombstone is in church wall on the side; two communion chalices made in 1669 by Daniel de Silversmit

    Statue of Rev Andrew Murray (1828-1917), moderator of the Church in front of Groote Kerk on Adderley Street. Marble statue executed in Italy to a design by Cane & Sons, Cape Town. Rev Murray was a minister and missionary who also founded seminaries for girls. 22 March, 1929 statue unveiled.

    Free entrance.

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