Gazette Date: 

Friday, September 29, 2017



Notice Date: 

Friday, September 29, 2017


PDF icon 41141 - Lutheran Church - 290917.pdf2.39 MB


Provincial Heritage Site


C.C.T 13315/1960




By virtue of the powers vested in the South African Heritage Resources Agency, in terms of section 27 (5) of the National Heritage Resources Act (No. 25 of 1999) SAHRA hereby declares the Evangelical Lutheran Church Complex, Erf 9245; Cape Town as a National Heritage Site.


The Evangelical Lutheran Church Complex constitutes a multi-layered site with a combination of cultural landscape, architectural, technical and extraordinary social and spiritual significance. It is symbolic of the successful resistance to the Vereenigde Oost- Indische Compagnie (“VOC”) domination and a precursor to the freedom of religious worship in South Africa. The site is directly linked, through its archival collection (some dating back as far as the 1740s), with the freeing of slaves and incorporation of freed slaves into the community, and the beginning of institutions of culture and social responsibility. This archival collection is the only known unofficial set of records documenting some of the approaches adopted by a community to resist government oppression, social control and financial sanctions through the baptism of slaves, marriages of freed slave women, and the continued association of those women who were freed and married into the community and brought their children to be baptised in the church. The Church records and correspondence is a unique set of manuscript with the potential to reveal new understandings of ordinary lives at the Cape. The community was made up of slaves, freed slaves (free blacks) and European settlers engaged together in taking care of their fellow members. Cape Town is the national marker of the origins of the colonisation of South Africa from the 17th century and the introduction of Western hierarchical systems of governance, religion and land transactions which ultimately changed the face of Southern Africa. The Church is the oldest remaining intact church building in Cape Town, the first church of any denomination other than Dutch Reformed in South Africa, and the first Lutheran Church in Africa. Sites and buildings that are significant as markers of the early period of colonial settlement and contain intact building complexes (as opposed to symbolic remnants) are extremely rare. Sites that were not government sites within that period are rarer still. The Lutheran Church complex is the only site in the Cape Town City Centre that contains authentic and largely intact remains of VOC era urban ensemble of private, public (and not owned by the VOC) and utilitarian buildings dating to the 18th Century. The site is a major node in Cape Town’s cultural landscape with the Martin Melck House being the last remaining dakkamer style town house in Cape Town. The Complex also has outstanding technical excellence, with the largest single roof span under a flat roofed structure during the VOC period and the largest unsupported triangulated timber roof truss from the early British period. In addition, the site has the only known masonry spiral stair in Cape Town and one of very few cast iron front gates remaining from that time. The pipe organ is the oldest large pipe organ in the Cape and was installed in 1820. The first, and most substantial body of works of Anton Anreith, renowned Baroque sculptor of that era, are found at the site as well.


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