One cannot pass through Swellendam without admiring the beautiful Dutch Reformed Church that elegantly presides over the town. Situated on the corner of Church and Voortrekker Streets, the eclectic fusion of its architectural styles is striking.

This church, also known as the Moederkerk (Mother Church), sports Cape Dutch gables and Gothic windows mixed with an Eastern dome, Renaissance entrances, and a Baroque spire, along with a replica of a Belgium wooden tower.

There is so much to take in. Look at this detail on one of the gables.

It has a fascinating history too:


  1. Even more than the architecture, I was inspired by the words on the plaque, “sick comforters.” I have head of at least one other church which thinks of itself as a spiritual hospital. (Or did I misread? That is, was the term meant to refer to physical sickness? If so, that’s of course inspiring too,)


    • They probably go hand-in-hand in a sense – both spiritual and physical needs require comfort. What is important is that the community was looked after. Here is another reference to a ‘sick-comforter’: “On 4 June 1652, sick-comforter at the Cape Willem Barentz Wijlant and his wife became the first people to move into the semi-completed fortress, the Fort de Goede Hoop (Fort of Good Hope). Here their son, Bernert Willemz, was born on 6 June.” which comes from http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/first-family-cape-moves-fort.

      Liked by 1 person

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