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Gem of Gauteng
Cullinan is a small town situated about 30 km to the east of Pretoria, Gauteng, in a part of the Dinokeng region of South Africa. It has been preserved as a historical town and received many tourists from overseas as well as being very popular with South Africans.
- Village Historical Tour
- Journey of a Diamond
- Underground Mine Tour
- McHardy House Museum in Oak Avenue
- The History Room in the old shed
- The old Recreation Club - now also a Restaurant
Cullinan hosts the Groot Gat Festival in March, and a Mampoer Festival in May. Mampoer is a notoriously strong, traditional South African spirit akin to moonshine.
Steam Train from Pretoria
Friends of The Rail is a registered non-profit organization which preserves and operates vintage steam locomotives and coaches and is run solely by volunteers. They operate a service to Cullinan from Pretoria and use the old train station with the "Opiestasie" restaurant, just outside the town. A short walk will find the visitor in the quaint Historical town of Cullinan with its old world charm and excellent restaurants and picnic areas.
In 1902 Thomas Cullinan discovered the immense diamond pipe in the area now known as 'Cullinan' and a town sprang up named after him. Semi-detached houses were built in 1904 to house the mine employees.
The Premier Mine was established to work this pipe and ever since it has been a seemingly inexhaustible source of diamonds.
In 1905 the largest diamond ever found in the world, the famed 'Cullinan', was discovered here by Frederick Wells, surface manager of the Premier Diamond Mining Company. The stone, which had a mass of 3 106 carats, was bought by the Transvaal Government and presented to King Edward VII. It was then fragmented into the 530 carat 'Star of Africa', which is set in the scepter of the Crown Jewels, the 317 carat 'Lesser Star of Africa', which is set in the Imperial State Crown of the Crown Jewels, seven other gems worn by the Royal Family, and 96 lesser gems, or brilliants.
In the second World War, the largest allied prisoner of war camp in Africa was established here and the graves of 264 Italian POW's are still preserved.
The St George's Anglican stone church was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.
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