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Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa


Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

Whether you’re an architecture fanatic or simply a normal tourist, one of the nicest things to see while in South Africa is the country’s numerous stunning churches, many of which are deep in history.

While many of them come from the 19th and 20th centuries and are created in the timeless gothic and Norman styles, some of the more recently built ones deviate from those distinctive designs in favor of a more contemporary aesthetic.

Whichever it is, we can guarantee that your eyes will be treated to a visual feast when you visit some of the spectacular churches that the rainbow nation has to offer.

1. Dutch Reformed Church Swellendam

  • Location: Swellendam, Western Cape
  • Capacity: 1400
  • Founder: Christoffel Koents
  • Built in: 1911
  • Designer: N/A

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

A glance at the stunning white facade of the Dutch Reformed Church in Swellendam reveals why it is considered one of South Africa’s most attractive and photographed churches. The church, which was completed in 1802 and subsequently renovated a century later, has a blend of styles. The steeple is extravagant, the gables are baroque, the windows are gothic, the cupola is slightly eastern, and the gables are baroque. Two bells are housed in the tower, which is a copy of a famous tower in Belgium. A tiered amphitheater with banks of curving wood benches facing the pulpit and organ can be found inside the church.

2. Dutch Reformed Church, Groot Kerk

  • Location: Graff Reinert
  • Capacity: 1,250
  • Founder: Murray Andrew
  • Built in: 1886
  • Designer: N/A

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

If you’re interested in history, a visit to the Dutch Reformed Church Groot Kerk is a must. The church was built in 1792 and burned down in 1799. In 1800, the worshippers banded together and erected a new structure. This second endeavor would endure 22 years before a new reverend arrived and led the construction of a new church, which was finished in 1823. This third structure served the neighborhood for 60 years before the current structure was constructed. A steeple with a height of 4574 meters and a chimney are notable characteristics. It also features a jaw-dropping façade, which goes without saying.

3. Dutch Reformed Church Hanover

  • Location: Northern Cape
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Founder: N/A
  • Built in: 1859 (replaced by a larger building in 1907)
  • Designer: Herman Kellenbach

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

The Dutch Reformed Church in Hanover, Northern Cape, has well-kept gardens, a gleaming light-colored facade, and a steeple that soars into the sky. Another appealing feature of one of South Africa’s most beautiful churches is the presence of a 100-year-old organ. It also has a rich history, which has led to it being designated as a national monument.

4. NG Church Robertson

  • Location: Kerk Street, Robertson
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Founder: Dr. Robertson
  • Built in: 1853
  • Designer: John Gaisford

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

The NG congregation in Robertson is another Dutch Reformed Church that made the list of South Africa’s most beautiful churches. The NG congregation is nestled among orchards and vineyards in the little town of Robertson, following in the gothic tradition of several other Dutch Reformed churches. Because the town had been without a church for so long due to its tiny size and rural location, it took the fortitude of a local farmer and his associate to establish one. The farm owner, as fate would have it, would sell the farm on which the church was built.

5. St. Georges Cathedral Cape Town

  • Location: Cape Town
  • Capacity: 1,000
  • Founder: N/A
  • Built in: 1901
  • Designer: Herbert Baker

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

St Georges Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Southern Africa and the mother church of the Anglican diocese of Cape Town. It was built in 1901 and was constructed by Sir Herbert Baker, a notable English architect, in the gothic architectural style. A tomb, a tower with ten ringing bells, and stained glass showcasing magnificent Gabriel Loire windows are just a few of the outstanding elements. There’s also a beautiful rose window depicting Jesus Christ, as well as three separate chapels. St. Georges is a fantastic way to spend your day because admission is free.

6. Dutch Reformed Church George

  • Location: George, Western Cape
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Founder: Johan Stephen Simeon Ballot
  • Built in: 1842
  • Designer: N/A

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

The foundation for this church was laid in 1832, but due to financial difficulties, it took another 12 years to complete. Even after it was completed, the congregation had to repair the steeple after a hard downpour. Thankfully, all of these difficulties are now behind them, and the Dutch Reformed Church George is now one of South Africa’s most magnificent churches, with majestic Highwood ceilings and a historic ancient sundial near the main door. It also helps that it is situated against the mountains, which adds to its formidable appearance.

7. Holy Trinity Church, Belvidere

  • Location: Knysna, Eastern Cape
  • Capacity: 20
  • Founder: Thomas Henry Duthie
  • Built in: 1833 to 1857
  • Designer: Williams Butterfield

The Holy Trinity Church Belvidere is just another example of how big things can come in small packages. Despite the fact that this modest and charming chapel can only seat around two dozen people, it is amazing. The church is fully hewn out of sandstone, with the pulpit carved out of a single block, and is built in the tiny Norman style of the 11th and 12th centuries. The wooden work was done with Stinkwood and Timberwood, and the bell was shipped all the way from England. The church’s size is ideal for a family, which is in keeping with the founder’s goal, who designed it as a place of worship for his family, friends, and servants.

8. St Michael and St. George Cathedral Grahamstown

  • Location: Makhanda, Eastern Cape
  • Capacity: 500
  • Founder: John Armstrong
  • Built in: 1824
  • Designer: George Gilbert Scott and John Oldrid Scott


Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

St. Michael and St. George Cathedral in Grahamstown is another Anglican church that rates among South Africa’s most beautiful churches. The design for this magnificent structure began in 1814, but it was only completed in 1879. It has undergone numerous major repairs since then, including a window restoration in 2017. The cathedral features superb bells, a cathedral clock, and a spire that is believed to be the country’s tallest. Would you like to pay a visit to St. Michael and St. George? Then, from Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), they welcome visitors (9 am to 12 noon).

9. Hillsong Church

  • Location: Cape Town
  • Capacity: over a thousand
  • Founder: N/A
  • Built in: 2010
  • Designer: N/A

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

While the majority of South Africa’s noteworthy beautiful churches are built in the centuries-old gothic architecture, Hillsong Campus in Cape Town is very modern, with a glass facade, some impressive towers, and an equally impressive dome. The auditorium welcomes thousands of worshippers each week, which is odd given that it was once home to Dockside, one of Cape Town’s largest nightclubs. Dockside was a beautiful house of worship for eight years before being taken over and converted into what it is presently.

10. St Mary’s Cathedral Johannesburg

  • Location: Johannesburg
  • Capacity: over 2000
  • Founder: Arthur Karney
  • Built in: 1887
  • Designer: Sir Hebert Baker and Frank Fleming

Check out the 10 most beautiful churches in South Africa

St Mary’s Cathedral, which is made of hard native whinstone, is stunning both inside and out. The church features three chapels and two Madonna statues on the inside. There’s also a massive rood with St. John, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and a Roman soldier flanking Jesus on His cross. Because of the life-size wood carving of the crucifixion, the iconic rood hovers above the chancel steps and dominates the entire church. Apart from its outward grandeur, St. Mary’s Cathedral holds a special place in Johannesburg’s history as one of the few racially mixed churches.

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