Groote Kerk

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The Groote Kerk is the oldest and largest Dutch Reformed church in South Africa, and has on occasion been the venue for performances of various kinds.

Also known as De Groote Kerk, Die Groote Kerk, De Nieuwe Kerk or Die Moederkerk.

The Church

Built by Herman Schuette in 1841, Die Groote Kerk ("great or large church") is a Dutch Reformed church in Cape Town, and the site is claimed to be the oldest place of Christian worship in South Africa. The imposing current building in Adderley Street replaced the first church, erected on the same land in 1678, Willem Adriaan van der Stel laying the cornerstone. In building the new church the original tower was retained, as was the exquisitely ornate pulpit designed by the sculptor Anton Anreith and the carpenter Jacob Graaff ( inaugurated on 29 November 1789.) The Groote Kerk lays claim to housing South Africa's largest organ, which was installed in 1954 and has 5917 pipes.

Also referred to as De Nieuwe Kerk (since it had replaced the original) or Die Moederkerk ("the mother church") in various sources. Today however it is best known in Cape Town as Die Groote Kerk.

Its use as a performance venue


Ludwig Wilhelm Berthold Binge. 1969. Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950). Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [1]: pp.

F.C.L. Bosman, 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

P.J. du Toit, 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica

Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg.

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