Visiting South Africa’s first missionary – Genadendal

In South African history, missionaries took on a very important role. And unlike what you might think, missionaries didn’t only focus on bringing religion to places. They also taught locals valuable skills. Genadendal is Southern Africa’s first mission station and was established in 1738 amongst the Khoi people. The town itself has nothing special to it, but the historic square is a national heritage site, with the original church, a museum and even a resident cow.

Walking around the square, you can see where they printed paper at one of South Africa’s oldest printing presses. You can also walk to the old watermill and have a look around where they used stone-ground flower to bake bread in open-air ovens. It’s interesting to see where all these skills – that we assume have been around forever – started.

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