BRONKHORSTSPRUIT

The town was established around the railway station that was built in 1894 and was promulgated in 1904 and was also the site of the beginning of the Anglo Boer War. Five days before Christmas in 1880, the opening shots of the First Boer war were fired at Bronkhorstspruit. General Sir George Pomeroy Colley had 1200 men to fight their way through 7000 Boers and attempt to relieve 2000 British Troops.

Bronkhorstspruit is situated only 35km’s from Pretoria East and is a healthy town with a variety of shopping venues, Consulting Rooms and a hospital.

SAMMY MARKS MUSEUM

Located about 15kms west of Vic-Haven, this interesting house is a fine example of Victorian-style architecture. It is dedicated to Sammy Marks who made a significant contribution to the industrial, mining and agricultural development of the Zuid-Africkaansche Republiek (ZAR).

Marks was a well-known and respected South African pioneer, who was born in Lithuania in 1844. He migrated to South Africa in 1868 after living in England for a while. “Zwartkoppies Hall” is a 48 roomed Victorian styled mansion, built by Sammy in 1884. Tours of the house and workshops are held regularly.

WILLEM PRINSLOO AGRICULTURAL MUSEUM

This museum was established in the 1920s. It portrays the development of agriculture in the then Transvaal from the Stone Age to the present. Exhibits include a collection of horse-drawn vehicles, farming equipment and implements.

Visitors will find a historic farmyard (1880-1920) with indigenous domesticated farm animals like Nguni and Afrikaner cattle, Colebrook pigs, Painted Persian sheep and indigenous chickens. By prior booking, visitors can see and experience various demonstrations, including candle-making, cow-milking, roasting of coffee beans and baking of bread.

NAN HUA TEMPLE

Bronkhorstspruit is a rather unexpected setting for the first and only Buddhist seminary in Africa. This might explain why certain visitors have been attracted to the ornate Nan Hua Temple, thinking it is a casino. It is a requirement that all novices renounce their old sense-desire-based lifestyles, this renunciation symbolically re-enacted in the annual Head Shaving Ceremony.

Held every April, the ceremony marks the moment first-year novices relinquish all attachments to a material world. For many it is a sizeable leap of faith.