Genadendal National Monument

Genadendal National Monument: Address, Phone Number, Genadendal National Monument Reviews: 4/5

Genadendal National Monument

Genadendal National Monument

15 reviews
Very good

Cape Town Central, South Africa23 contributions
Jul 2017 • Family
This is a historical and architectural gem and it is quite clear why Nelson Mandela renamed his home after it! The museum is full of interest, but the museum precinct itself held the most interest to me. There was no guide on hand, which was a needs to book tour, but I had read quite a bit about it, which helped. Foreign visitors may need more explanation of cultural and political significance of site, especially links to Khoi khoi and coloured identity.
Written 8 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa15 contributions
A wonderful found
May 2017 • Couples
This South African hidden jewel is a must for local and international visitors. So much valuable history of which very few people know. It is lovely to walk amongst the large old trees and visit all the various areas. The old mill is still functioning after decades and they actually actively ground there to bake bread. The museum is beautiful and it is very interesting to see what a major role the Europeans played on the development of South Africa.
Written 28 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter F
Hermanus, South Africa492 contributions
Oldest mission station in southern Africa
Feb 2017 • Couples
We visited this national monument on 11 February, a sunny Saturday morning. Church and restaurant were closed at that time. There are a multitude of thatched buildings which all appeared to be relatively well maintained unlike most of the Genadendal village itself. The mission and church grounds are large and generally clean without any litter. Lose horses wander around grazing on whatever they can find.Crafts like printing, pottery and carpentry are housed in dedicated buildings but are apparently only open and occupied by working artisans during the week. Strangely, the lady at the information centre didn't even know the age of the mission station which was established by the Moravian Church in 1738. However, a young gentleman suddenly appeared who opened and activated the water mill for us - I was amazed at the large amount of water available from a stream at this driest time of the year. The gears driven by the water mill worked well and the mill is occasionally still used to mill grain. Interestingly, the gears could alternatively even be driven by a small steam engine housed inside the mill building. Although this steam engine looked at least from the outside clean and neat, our guide told us that sadly nobody knows how to activate it any longer since the end of Apartheid! There is also a large accommodation complex right next to the main road. While we were not able to see any of the rooms because they were occupied by guests, at least the communal areas all looked neat and clean. I suggest to visit this very interesting place during the week and combine it with a visit to the romantic village of Greyton, about 6km away. For inquiries the mission station can be contacted by email:
Written 12 February 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hermanus, South Africa534 contributions
Tranquil retreat, preserving old ways.
Feb 2017 • Couples
This is the oldest mission station in southern Africa and seeing it was established by a German missionary in 1738 it is well maintained. The church precinct is cool and traquil even on a stinking hot day because the old oaks create a cool canopy. We didn't spend long enough as here was lots to see. During the week there are working exhibits of old skills like milling, pottery, printing and baking. For the hungry there is an onsite restaurant (check opening times) , for the historically minded there is a museum, in which you can follow the development of the mission from its inception. THe church can be visited but is closed over weekends .There are gardens and some interesting trees to be seen.
There are also a number of day hikes , including one to see rock art from the Khoisan days. accommodation is available in dormitories or self catering flats. Horses roam free but were a bit skinny for my liking. Its definitely worth a visit possibly a stayover so the surrounding hikes can be explored.
Written 12 February 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cape Town, South Africa3 157 contributions
Well worth a visit
Feb 2017 • Solo
Genadendal is worth a visit, there is a lovelg museum that showcases developments in the area since the Moravian missionaries arrived here in 1738.

Avoid the rest of the town, it is a dump.
Written 10 February 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

East London, South Africa440 contributions
Poor management spoils interesting place
Oct 2016 • Friends
Genadendal Mission Station is an interesting aspect of RSA history.
The buildings are well maintained and area is neat. You can see that until recently is was loving maintained.
We arrived around 10am - tea time for the many employees. We felt like intruders, snooping around their cafeteria - not a single "hello" or "can I help you".
We wondered around until we found the info center and cafe. Again no one was manning the desk, they too must have been enjoying tea in the sun.
Thankfully we stumbled upon a brochure with a map showing the use of each building.
We spent the next 30 minutes or so wondering around between tea drinking groups, making our own way through exhibits, trying doors and peeking in windows.
Exhibits were very much like school projects but thank goodness for them - without this info our trip would have been completing without any information or input.
A simple hello or an offer of info/direction would have made all the difference.
Toilet were filthy.
Cannot comment on accommodation or cafe since neither seemed open.
Quite a disappointing detour - couldn't recommend it in its present condition. It would seem that once again time the people of Genadendal have not been able to keep with the with time - missing first the wave of industrialization which took industry from the area and not missing the wave or tourism which will once again pass them.
Written 6 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Geo H
130 contributions
A day at the museum
Apr 2016
Enjoyed the museum and the whole area is exceptionally clean and well maintained. On the downside the associated text next to each display was not well presented. It was somewhat puerile. It resembled a school project. The Blacksmith's cottage is beautiful. We had coffee at one of the tea rooms at a fair price. The church was closed. I found the museums to smell musty but my husband calls it the smell of antiquity.
Written 3 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Southampton, UK250 contributions
Memorable and meaningful trip back in time
Mar 2015 • Friends
There is more than just the monument at Genandendal, there is a whole little sleepy living village and community, unspoiled by tourists. Genadendal is the oldest Moravian mission village on the continent, founded by a German missionary of the Moravian Church in 1738, and at its heart are the original little thatched and predominantly white-walled cottages. The centre of town is a community project run by locals who make available a museum, an operational water mill, a printing museum, a group of weavers and a bookshop. The original Moravian mission church houses the oldest pipe organ in South Africa. In front of the church stands the old bell and a collection of oak trees that would have granted shade to those attending church. Don’t miss the short walk to the graveyard. A memorable and meaningful trip back in time.
Written 16 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anne M
Simon's Town, South Africa143 contributions
A Unique Piece of History!
Aug 2015 • Couples
We spent a morning walking around this unique piece of South African history. The buildings have been restored to an exceptional standard and the museum staff are helpful and friendly. Don't miss the walk pass the Pear tree to the cemetery - it was facinating.

All in all it was a morning well spent.
Written 13 August 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve C
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa106 contributions
Unappreciated treasure
Nov 2014 • Family
I hadn't realised how fascinating the history of Genadendal was until I visited the museum. Part of me wonders how much better a place South Africa might have been today if the early missionaries there had been allowed to continue their development programmes in the local community. Anyway, politics aside, it is a clearly under resourced museum that has somehow managed to preserve some incredible stories.

Rather take the guided tour if you can. It is fascinating. See the amazing collection of printing presses, the old graveyard, the mill and find out what incredible work was being done there hundreds of years ago, as well as the fact it was the first teacher training college in the country. There was a good reason that Nelson Mandela renamed the presidential residence Genadendal.
Written 17 November 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 14
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Genadendal National Monument

We recommend booking Genadendal National Monument tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 Genadendal National Monument tours on Tripadvisor

Restaurants near Genadendal National Monument: View all restaurants near Genadendal National Monument on Tripadvisor