The beautiful Riebeek Valley is made up of three villages, Riebeek West, Riebeek Kasteel and Hermon, all about an hours’ drive from Cape Town . Riebeek Kasteel, most likely the best known of the Valley’s three little villages, is home to De Oude Kerk, now known as the Riebeek Valley Museum.
De Oude Kerk was built and opened its doors in 1856, however, due to a lack of funds a pastor never arrived in until 1881. The building was used for town gatherings as well as a Church during the towns’ heyday.
Today the original Church houses the Riebeek Valley Museum and it pays tribute to the long ago Voortrekkers who settled in the Valley. The Museum has recorded the history of the Valley’s rich heritage and offers its’ visitors a glimpse into the “old town”. Visitors can expect to see an array of items that the Voortrekkers would have used on a daily basis from wagons and farming implements to school desks and hymn books.
De Oude Kerk or Riebeek Valley Museum is rumoured to be haunted. During the flu epidemic of 1918 there was a shortage of wood and bodies were wrapped in sheets before being placed in the coffin so that after the funeral the coffin could be re-used, time and time again. Some visitors have reported feeling ghostly cold spots, especially by the old pram on display, so remember to linger longer in this room. Also look out for the horse-drawn hearse with its coffin as you enter the Museum.
There is no admission fee, however, a donation is always appreciated.
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