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Greyton, South Africa

Greyton and Genadendal
Overberg Region

Genadendal MuseumThe little hamlet of Greyton lies picturesquely embedded in a valley at the foot of the Riviersonderend Mountains on the banks of the river Riviersonderend.

Greyton is part of the Overberg. It is linked to the neighbouring town of McGregor in the Breede River region through the 14 kilometre long Boesmanskloof hiking trail.

Greyton started off in the middle of the 19th century as a farmers' settlement. The quaint character of this rural village has been preserved until today. Many of the streets are untarred and lined by mighty oak trees, providing welcome shade. The pretty houses are well restored, white-washed and surrounded by meticulously manicured gardens. Small irrigation channels seam the village streets. Pretty cafés and restaurants invite you to try their exquisite fare.

Greyton provides peace and relaxation. Many artists and affluent escapees from the metropolitan area of Cape Town have discovered this place for themselves over the last couple of years and settled here. They largely contributed to the cultural offering of the village and call it nowadays the "Art Capital of the Overberg". Greyton boasts several art galleries and a well attended music festival in summer.

A historical highlight with a romantic and peaceful atmosphere awaits the visitor in Genadendal, four kilometres from Greyton. It is the oldest mission station in South Africa, founded in 1738 by the missionary Georg Schmidt of the Evangelic-Lutheran Brotherhood of the Moravian Church ("Herrnhuther") near Dresden in Germany.

The Moravian mission cared for the Hessekwa-Khoi who lived here. Schmidt opened the first school in South Africa in Genadendal, where the Khoi learnt to read and write with tools that can still be seen and remind one of the much more recent Montessori approach. In 1838, the country's first centre for teacher education started here. In the beginning of the Apartheid era it was banned and closed down. People of colour were not supposed to learn more than they needed to know for mean labour.

Genadendal – "Valley of Grace" – is now a beautifully restored museum village with several workshops, a book store, a guest house, an old pharmacy, a working watermill, a museum and the Mission Church from 1893 with the oldest organ of South Africa.

More information for visitors to be found on the INFO page.

Top right: Typical village street in Greyton. Top left: Museum in Genadendal. Below: Watermill in Genadendal.
Genadendal Watermill
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