C. J. Langenhoven Museum in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape
The C.J. Langenhoven Museum ("Arbeidsgenot") is the former home of Cornelis Jakob Langenhoven, renowned Afrikaans playwright, poet and author between 1903 and 1932. Fondly referred to as South Africa’s “Father of Afrikaans”, C. J. Langenhoven will most likely always be Oudtshoorn’s most famous resident. In 1918, as co-Author of the South African Anthem, he wrote “Die Stem”. He was a member of the South African Parliament and founded two Afrikaans newspapers, still in print today, “Freemason” and “Die Burger”.
The house is well preserved and depicts the life of Langenhoven. The home has been declared a National Monument and each room tells you something of his character and work. Although he wrote mostly in his study, Langenhoven was known to work from almost anywhere, his chair in front of the fireplace, in restaurants and he particularly enjoyed sitting in the garden under the Karoosipres and Bamboesbos that he planted himself. His success was due to him writing about everyday things and today there are still items on display in the museum that were the inspiration to some of his works. One such item is the elephant on display which led to the books “Sin with Neighbours” and “Harry on the Light Rail”. After these books were published, Langenhoven received many elephant pieces as gifts and today there are at least 108&nbp;elephants on display at the Museum.
In 1932, Langenhoven died from heart failure at age 58. His wife died in 1950 and on the 21st April 1955, “Abreidsgenot” officially opened as a Museum. Much care was taken during the restoration to ensure that everything was kept as close as possible to the original home.
Things to do and see
- Dining room with fireplace
- Main bedroom
- Translation of Rubaiyat
- Elephant display
- Picture of his daughter, Angela
- Living room
- Langenhoven grave site & tombstone
There is a nominal admission fee, please contact the Museum directly to confirm prices.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 32˚C with high rainfall in March and October/November.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 20˚C with the lowest rainfall in June and July.
Commercial Airlines offer flights into George Airport, 56 km away from Oudtshoorn. Car hire facilities are located at the Airports.
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