The picturesque little town of Dordrecht was established in 1856 as a Dutch Reformed parish and named after the town of the same name in the Netherlands. During the Anglo-Boer War, burghers from the Free State annexed the town and declared it part of the Free State. However, after the war it was reintegrated into the Eastern Cape.
Adventure And Sport
Kranskop Hiking Trail: The trail starts on the farm Gelegenfontein, near Dordrecht. It consists of a steep route up to the Kranskop Mountain with the added attraction of sleeping over in a cave on the mountain. The second leg of the hike includes a stop-over and lunch at the farm Waterval and then back to Gelegenfontein via steep and narrow kloofs. The Dutch Reformed Church Museum is situated on this route.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
San Rock Art: San rock art adorns many sites in Dordrecht Kloof and the other wooded ravines of the area. Visits to sites on private farms are by appointment only. To prepare yourself for the real site visits, first visit the Anderson Museum in the town for a photographic overview of all the sites in the area.
San rock art at Clarksdale: At Clarksdale, just off the road to Molteno, the San rock painting depicts a man holding a fish, supposedly given to him by the rain animals.
San rock art at Greenvale: Greenvale farm is situated approximately 10km from Dordrecht on the R56 road to Indwe. The rock art site is in a 10-m-wide cave and features well-preserved pictures of animals and the rain dance.
History And Architecture
Anderson Museum: Established in an old shop that was erected in 1903, the Anderson Museum features exhibits dealing with the history of the town. Every exhibit has a story of its own to tell, for example, the signpost pointing the way to Napoleon’s grave on the island of St Helena now resides in the museum. Many Boer soldiers were kept in prison camps on the island during the Anglo-Boer War and one can only assume that a Boer prisoner of war brought the signpost back with him. The rock art exhibit shows photographs of all the rock art sites in the area and the museum also offers guided site tours on request.
Burgher Statue: The Burgher Statue, in front of the town’s Dutch Reformed Church, is a monument to the Boer victims and casualties of the Anglo-Boer War.
Historical buildings: The town is blessed with some beautiful architectural specimens, reflecting the different periods of its history. The Dutch Reformed, Anglican and Presbyterian churches all date back to around 1880.