Why a Visit to Graaff-Reinet Museum Should Form Part of Your Tour Plan
Affordable, comfortable luxury and centrally located Graaff-Reinet accommodation is essential to ensure that you can spend more time in this quaint little town in the Eastern Cape Karoo. As one of South Africa’s oldest towns, it boasts a rich cultural history equalled only by its stunning historical buildings and superb museum collections.
The Graaff-Reinet Museum covering 4000 m2, is already enough reason to visit the town. Of course, enjoying the luxury KarooRus accommodation on offer will certainly also come to mind when you tell people about your memorable experiences in the town. But, let’s have a look at why the Graaff-Reinet Museum visit should be on your bucket list when you visit the Klein Karoo.
The Graaff-Reinet Museum was established over five decades ago and consists of historical buildings dating back to the early parts of the 1800s. The buildings house a wide range of rock art collections, antique period furniture, fossil collections, and even modern historical collections. The buildings alone are worth seeing, but with so many historically significant gems inside, you will probably not linger outside. Indeed, noted as one of the most important historical sites in the Karoo, the Graaff-Reinet Museum is a definite must-visit priority for any tourist to the Karoo.
The Reinet House, as the Graaff-Reinet Museum is generally known, is housed in the former Dutch Reformed Church building, which was erected in 1812. The building was later used as a boarding house for girls in training to become teachers, but fell into disuse by 1944. The building became derelict, but thanks to the Graaff-Reinet Publicity Association, it was restored over four years and in 1956, it opened as a museum. The architecture is reminiscent of the typical Cape H-plan residential abodes of the time. Unfortunately, a 1980 fire destroyed a portion of the building. Renovation was done and today, you can see some of the finest furniture of the time in the building.
If you love military history, you will love the Military History Museum forming part of the complex. It is fairly new, but doesn’t lack for interesting content. It is home to an archival repository and provides a glimpse into the military history of the region. Also forming part of the complex, the Old Library is worth a visit for its historical value. It was the town library for many years until a contemporary library was erected in Parsonage Street. The Old Library became a National Monument in 1987 and is home to specialised collections. It now also includes an exhibition displaying the history of the town’s previously disadvantages communities.
The Urquhart House has an archival repository, and genealogical research inquiries can be done upon appointment and request. Guided tours are also offered upon request. The Old Residency is located at the end of Parsonage Street and is also an excellent example of the Cape H-layout. It houses a music room, the Harriet Rabone drawing room, and other exhibitions.
We recommend booking affordable self catering Graaff-Reinet accommodation at KarooRus for a weekend or week’s stay to ensure you have enough time to visit the many attractions in and around the town.