Monday, 14 May 2012

Return to Heidelberg

Following my trip to Heidelberg earlier this year, I was determined to head out there again for a second look. I had missed some of the historical sites on that visit, and when the Johannesburg Photowalkers advertised a walk in Heidelberg I jumped at the chance.  Their itinerary included the Klipkerk, Methodist Church, old jail, Kloof Cemetery and a walk around the area where the Town Hall was. I was itching to go back to Kloof Cemetery and to pick up the Concentration Camp Memorial I had missed in January at the Camp Cemetery.  

We met up at the Majesteas Salon at 67 H.F. Verwoerd Street in Heidelberg and after a great brekkies headed off to the old jail.


Today the jail is home to the Suikerbosrand MOTH shellhole, but its origins are very visible in the large locks, heavy doors and extreme security. Like so many of these institutions it is very difficult to imagine what it must have been like in the days when people were incarcerated in it, but it still feels grim and foreboding, and the military artefacts do lend themselves to contributing to the atmosphere. On 23 June 1902, a Veldkornet Van As was executed by firing squad against the back wall of the jail, having been found guilty of the murder of Captain Ronald Miers  on 25 September 1901. Today the bullet holes from that execution can still be seen on the wall of the building.


Our visit concluded, we walked around the town centre, stopping at the City Hall where I was able to photograph the Triumvirate Monument  which I was not able to do previously. Coming back from the jail we passed a number of old buildings, many of which have historical significance



The Town Hall is a particularly attractive building, its cornerstone being laid on 2 June 1939, having been designed by Gerhard Moerdyk.


We also stopped at the very attractive Methodist Church which dates from 1895.



As well as seeing a variety of old houses, one of which was occupied by The Standard Bank of British South Africa between August 1879- December 1881.


There are a number of old buildings in this area, one being Pistorius Geboue, dating from 1925,


The home of the Afrikaans Poet AG Visser is also close by, with a bust of him within its grounds.



Close by is the Heidelberg Volkskool which was proclaimed a national monument in 1970. The building was erected in memory of the 862 inhabitants of Heidelberg and districts who sacrificed their lives during the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902).



I also discovered the pretty Anglican Church close by,

Parish of St Ninians
 and the Hervormde Church in the next block.



On our way back to our vehicles, we were fortunate enough to be able to get into the grounds of the magnificent "Klipkerk" which is opposite the Town Hall.  The foundation stone for this church was laid in 1890 by Cmdt-Gen PJ Joubert. 

  


From there we headed off to Kloof Cemetery where I was able to add even more images to my collection from this beautiful cemetery. I was also able to photograph the Jewish Cemetery, and like so many of the cemeteries I visit, I wished that there was something written down about these spaces and their occupants, but alas, only headstones tell the tales.


Then it was off home, and in the back of my mind a small nagging image remained: Between the petrol price and toll fees, could this be the future of transportation in Gauteng?




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