Calitzdorp is full of historical buildings. Do yourself a favour, and walk through the village to appreciate some of these gems. These buildings are not however restricted to the village, and many others can be seen on the outskirts of town (e.g Groenfontein, Kruisrivier, Wesoewer Rd, and St Helena).

These are relatively short, depending on much time you spend at each building.

Our downloadable brochure will guide you through the village on one of 2 walks.
If you require any additional information, you can contact the Museum, or the Tourism Office. Enjoy!

Calitzdorp Museum

One of the primary testimonies to its heritage is the Calitzdorp Museum, which occupies what was once the Standard Bank building.
This museum, situated in Van Riebeeck Street, is about showcasing the cultural history of the region and its immediate surrounds. It explores the life, implements, people and natural treasures of Calitzdorp and the Klein Karoo, extending back generations. The exhibit is varied and comprehensive, and ranges from old photographs to local artefacts.
The Calitzdorp Museum is run by volunteers who share a love for the local heritage and natural abundance, and want others to enjoy this passion. It is open from Monday to Sunday, 09h00 to 16h00, and is closed between 13h00 and 14h00.

Dutch Reformed Church

(Declared a national monument in 1991)
Access to the Church (and wall hangings) is free of charge and is usually open to the public – if not kindly contact Tourism office to arrange access.

In 1855 work was commenced on a church, although the congregation was only to secede from Oudtshoorn in 1873. Less than a decade later, in 1880, the inauguration of the newly enlarged church took place, but by 1909 this too had become too small and it was decided that a new building be erected. Twenty-six plans were submitted and in 1910 th old building was demolished, and work on the present church began in all earnest. Stone was brought by ox-wagon from Swartkop (Vlei River) and dressed on the building site.

Inauguration: 1912
Style: Neo-Byzantine with a Marseilles roof. It is a good example of the sandstone architecture of the ostrich era in the Klein Karoo.
Architect: WH Louw, Paarl
Building Contractor: JE Vixseboxse
Total Building Cost: £12 790.00

St Marks Chapel

This beautiful, stark little church in simplified Neo-Gothic style has long – and quite mistakenly – been touted as the smallest Anglican Church in South Africa and possibly the second smallest in the world.

As there is no known register recording the sizes of Anglican Church buildings anywhere, this is a total presumption. In size it was more like a chapel than a church, having been designed originally to seat only ten people. It could well have been one of the smallest Anglican churches in the country at the time.

The date of construction of the little church is not known, but the bell which stands in its little arch to the side of the building bears the name Warner & Sons London 1880.

Today the church is maintained by a band of volunteers and regular services are no longer held here. It does however remain an appealing and popular venue for weddings and suitable special occasions.

Agricultural Heritage on foot

This route may be done with a guide:  Kevin Taylor 082 469 8143

The general architecture of the central village area of Calitzdorp is English-derived and its beauty is that of severe simplicity in the so-called Karoo style. Many of the older homes were built as “church houses” (tuishuise) for the temporary accommodation of farmers travelling to town for church services. These tiny structures – some of them almost dolls’houses – are mostly to be found in the vicinity of the DR Church, a national monument that for more than 80 years has been the main feature of the town.

Queen Street, was most likely one of the first streets in the village and as main street it naturally must have been the center of activity. As the village slowly expanded and shops moved elsewhere, the existing buildings, some of which occupied the same sites as others before them, were changed into Victorian dwellings. Most of these were the property of the Brinks and their close relatives, an influential family of the time. It is also interesting to note in passing that the first cemetery was located in the area of the present Queen’s Lodge. The beautiful poplar trees which used to line the street were destroyed during a violent storm in 1930. 

The street joined up with the “Road to Little Jerusalem” (Oudtshoorn) as the old road was then called because of the big number of Jews who resided in that town. On the eastern side of the street can be seen the canal (“leivoor”), the work of the harness-maker Koos Roux (also builder of several houses elsewhere in the village). This coincided with the construction of the historical Nelsrivier dam between 1913 and 1918. At the instigation of Dr Jannie Nel (relation in marriage to the Brinks) the street was tarred in 1943 by Broodryk. In the name of “restoration” (a totally misunderstood term), reckless alterations are unfortunately being carried out from time to time. As a result the street as a valuable culture historical heritage is losing it’s specific character of authenticity at an alarming tempo.