The main streets of Swellendam

I believe the two oldest streets in Swellendam are Swellengrebel Street, which passes the Drostdy, and Voortrek Street where the Dutch Reformed Church is situated. Almost every building in these streets is interesting and I wandered along with my camera until I was too hot to walk further!

Swellengrebel Street was on the Old Cape Wagon Road or Groote Wagenweg. Today it is an elegant, wide, tree-lined road where you can find The Old Post Office (once the gaoler’s home); The Old Gaol (which includes a restaurant these days); and a Georgian double-storey building (now occupied by the Museum).

The 18C Georgian double-storied building on Swellengrebel Street
The 18C Georgian double-storied building on Swellengrebel Street

Swellengrebel Street slopes down to cross the Koornlands (Korenlands?) River. 

Koornlands River, Swellendam
Koornlands River, Swellendam
Voortrek Street, Swellendam
Voortrek Street, Swellendam

Beautiful – I believe these are not grasses but reeds;  I think this is a thatching reed.

Cypress Cottage, on the corner of Voortrek Street
Cypress Cottage, on the corner of Voortrek Street
Van Oudtshoorn Road, Swellendam, at the corner of Voortrek Street
Coniston on Van Oudtshoorn Road, Swellendam, at the corner of Voortrek Street
The Cottage, 1832, Voortrek Street, Swellendam
The Cottage, 1832, Voortrek Street

Joseph Barry established a major trading empire in Swellendam, with ships, wagons, and shops, enabling him to trade in the surrounding area and with Cape Town and Europe.

The Barry House, Swellendam
The Barry House, Swellendam

The Barry House, Swellendam

The Dutch Reformed Church on Voortrek Street is an imposing  building (separate post to follow!)

The Dutch Reformed Church on Voortrek Street
The Dutch Reformed Church on Voortrek Street

The mile marker on Voortrek Street reminds us of the importance of this road.

Voortrek Street, Swellendam
Voortrek Street, Swellendam

The Oefeningshuis on Voortrek Street was built as a church or meeting house for the instruction of heathens and is one of many churches on this main street.

The Oefeningshuis (1838), Swellendam (http://www.artefacts.co.za/main/Buildings/bldgframes.php?bldgid=7499)
The Oefeningshuis (1838), Swellendam (http://www.artefacts.co.za/main/Buildings/bldgframes.php?bldgid=7499)
The Old Apostolic Church, Swellendam
The Old Apostolic Church, Swellendam, previously St Luke’s Anglican Church
Old St Luke's School, mid 19C, now offices
Old St Luke’s School, mid 19C, now offices
19C House on Voortrek Street
19C House on Voortrek Street

Osloo House once had broekie lace decoration under the eaves (old photograph).

Osloo House, Voortrek Street
Osloo House, Voortrek Street
The Handy Store in Voortrek Street
The Handy Store in Voortrek Street
1838 building Voortrek Street
1838 building Voortrek Street
Restaurant, Voortrek Street
Restaurant, Voortrek Street

You may be interested in
The oldest towns in South Africa
Fynbos and its habitat
Old photographs of Swellendam, & other sites in South Africa

2 comments

    • Yes, they are and quite dramatic. Swellendam is quite elegant, although, of course, there are poorer and less advantaged areas. One does not ‘visit’ these areas although you are aware of them and see them while travelling.

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