Klein Karoo / Route 62
FEATHER ♥ PALACES
During the boom of the Ostrich Industry from 1860 – 1914, the wealth was reflected in Oudtshoorn’s marvelous architecture, with many churches, public schools and commercial buildings being built.
Images credited to Oudtshoorn & De Rust Tourism
The farming community, that had suddenly become extremely rich, contending with one another to display their wealth and built magnificent“Ostrich Feather Palaces” decorated and embellished with stained glass windows, turrets and handsome cast-iron work (locally known as “broekielace” – cast-iron decorations that reminds one of the lace on ladies’ underwear.) Several of these“Ostrich Feather Palaces”are present in Oudtshoorn and its immediate environment, in the Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Neo-Renaissance Revival styles – for which they employed architects like Karl Otto Hager, Georges Wallace (Snr. and Jnr.) and Charles Bullock (renowned for the turrets and lace with which he embellished his buildings).
The distinctive sandstone used for these buildings was readily available because it was locally quarried. The skill of the Scottish stonemasons, originally imported for the building of the Dutch Reformed Church (“Moederkerk” – Mother Church) is evident in these fine buildings. Take a chance to wander down memory lane, admiring these unique buildings that have stood the test of time.
OUDTSHOORN / DE RUST
DID YOU KNOW?
A number of well-known architects such as Charles Bullock, George Wallace and J.E.Vixeboxse opened offices in Oudtshoorn and were responsible for the design of many Ostrich Palaces
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