Lutheran Church Complex
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Notice Published in the Government Gazette regarding the declaration of the building:
14 No. 7597 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 29 MAY 1981
NATIONAL MONUMENTS ACT,
DECLARATION OF THE PROPERTY, TOGETHER WITH THE LUTHERAN CHURCH BUILDING, THE PARSONAGE AND THE SCHOOL BUILDING THEREON, AT BRAUNSCHWEIG, DISTRICT OF KING WILLIAM'S TOWN
By virtue of the powers vested in me by section 10 (1) of the National Monuments Act, 1969 (Act 28 of 1969), I, Gerrit van Niekerk Viljoen, Minister of National Education, hereby declare the property, together with the Lutheran Church building, the parsonage and the school building thereon, at Braunschweig, District of King William's Town, to be a national monument.
The property, together with the Lutheran Church building, the parsonage and the school building thereon, situate on the following erven:
(a) A piece of land, being Lots 1, 2, 7 and 8, Block P, situate in the Village of Braunschweig, Division of King William's Town (now known as Erf 544, Braunschweig),! and measuring 170,08 square roods.
Deed of Grant 289/1868, dated 26 May 1868 (endorsement p. 2); and
(b) certain piece of freehold land, being Lot 3, Block P, situated in the Village of Braunschweig, in the Division of King William's Town (now known as Erf 545, Braunschweig), and measuring 607 square metres.
Deed of Transport 1010/1904, dated 9 September 1904 (endorsement p. 5).
Historical and architectural interest
This Lutheran Church complex consisting of the neo-Gothic church building of 1904, the parsonage of 1860 and the school building of 1860 and extension of 1904, is closely associated with the arrival of the German Legion in 1857 and thereafter the German Settlers in South Africa. 10/2/852.
G. VAN N. VILJOEN, Minister of National Education.
Transcription of an Information Sheet compiled by the National Monuments Council:
THE PROPERTY, TOGETHER WITH THE LUTHERAN CHURCH BUILDING, THE PARSONAGE AND THE SCHOOL BUILDING THEREON, AT BRAUNSCHWEIG, KING WILLIAM'S TOWN DISTRICT.
Braunschweig is one of the villages that came into being after the arrival af the German Legion and the German Settlers in British Kaffraria in and after 1857. It is represented today solely by the church property, a roughly square fenced area with church and related buildings, completely surrounded by veld.
The Braunschweig church was established by the Lutherans in 1866-7, the original building was a simple structure under thatch, it is represented today by a long narrow plastered building under corrugated iron, divided into a sequence of rooms, presently used as church offices.
The present church, built in 1904, is an imposing white plastered building with a corrugated iron roof and white plastered Gothic perpendicular tower. Also of interest is the leaded coloured glass windows as well as the brass oil lamp chandeliers.
The parsonage, built in approximately 1860, is an excellent example of a Settler house built of local stone with corrugated iron roof. The ceiling-boards and strip flooring is of yellowood.
The school, built in two sections and later joined, dates respectively from approximately 1860 and 1904. It is an elongated building, the older section containing yellowood floors and ceiling while the newer section has wooden floors and ceiling.
The Lutheran Church, the parsonage and school buildings form a unique complex and is closely associated with the German Settlers in the area.
The buildings belong to the Trustees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Africa.
The property, together with the Lutheran Church Building, the Parsonage and the school building theron, at Braunschweig, King William's Town district, was declared a national monument in May 1981.
[Submitted by William MARTINSON, 2012]
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"My name is Colin Vockerodt and I was only 10 years old when the Braunschweig church was closed down. My Parents were married and members of the St Peter's Lutheran Church in Braunschweig. I was Christened in that building in 1975. Before it closed in September 1985, all the farms around were owned by Germans who attended the church. The congregation built a new church in Komga which was opened in 1989. We where members that helped with the move and my Dad was a deacon. The 3 beautiful stained glass windows that are in the front of the Komga church, are from the Braunschweig building.
It is sad to see a beautiful building over 100 years old in such a state. The last time I was in that building was at the last service and it was very pretty and we were proud of our church and building. The reason why we moved out was because the old SA government had sold that land to the Ciskei government and all the farmers farms as well. Sad to see my heritage destroyed!"
(Colin Vockerodt 2013)