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Main Street, Graaf-Reinet, Eastern Cape province, South Africa photo
Main Street, Graaf-Reinet, Eastern Cape province

Graaff-Reinet is a town with 80,776 inhabitants in the Eastern Cape Province. It is the fourth oldest town in South Africa, after Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Swellendam. Surrounded by the Camdeboo National Park, Graaff-Reinet, the heart of the �Great Karoo� � Place of Thirst � is a boundless and mysterious area covered by vast sheep and game farms, where broad plains roll away to distant koppies and multilayered mountains that seem to touch the indigo sky.

The town was founded by the VOC Dutch East India Company in 1786, being named after the then governor of Cape Colony, Cornelis Jacob van de Graeff, and his wife whose maiden name was "Reynet".

Graaff-Reinet is recognized as the home of magnificent examples of Cape Dutch architecture, and over 220 heritage sites (more than any other town in South Africa!). The past is preserved in four extraordinary museums which hold collections of photographic memorabilia, firearms, artworks and fossils, tracing the story of the Karoo - and the town - from pre-history right up to the present day. Shown here is the Dutch Reformed Church (Grotekerk).

PHOTO SOURCE: Hein von Horsten, courtesy of, and copyright, South Africa Tourism, a department of the government of South Africa, used with permission.

NOTE: The information regarding South Africa on this page is re-published from other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of south_africa information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about south_africa photos should be addressed to the copyright owner noted below the photo.

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This page was last modified 25-JAN-09
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