South Africa

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The city of Kimberley is the capital of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Once just a simple farming area, things changed when a diamond was found in the area. It was not long before there were a number of mines all seeking the precious stones, and it is around these mines that the original town formed.

Kimberley

Kimberley 1

The Big Hole was a diamond mine that is now a very large hole that has partially filled with water. In 1888 a number of mine owners decided to combine their individual mines into one huge mine controlled by a single company. That company was named De Beers, and it is De Beers that still owns the land today.

Kimberley 2

On the western edge of the Big Hole stands the Open Mine Museum, a mix of original and reconstructed buildings that helps the visitor experience a small part of what it would have been like to be a diamond miner. On view in the museum is the first recorded diamond found here, the aptly named Eureka Diamond.

Kimberley 3

Kimberley City Hall is located on the corner of Old Main Street and Transvaal Road. This elegant building with its Neoclassical facade featuring Corinthian pillars, was constructed from a design by the architect Fergus Carstairs Rogers, and dates from 1899 just as the Anglo-Boer War was starting.

Kimberley 4

The Honoured Dead Memorial is situated where five roads converge. It was commissioned by Cecil John Rhodes to commemorate those who died at the Siege of Kimberley during the Anglo-Boar War. The sandstone monument was designed by Sir Herbert Barker and acts as a tomb for 27 soldiers, and the memorial has been classified as a Provincial Heritage Site. To the front of the memorial is a Long Cecil gun designed by George Labram, it has been situated to point towards the Free State and is surrounded by shells from a french Creusot Long Tom that was used by the Boer’s as a field gun.

Kimberley 5

The Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Gardens is dedicated to the diamond magnate and first mayor of the city of Kimberley. Located within the gardens is the Miners Memorial often referred to as the Diggers Fountain. It features five life-size miners holding aloft a diamond sieve.   


Kimberley 6

The De Beers head Office building is located on Stockdale Street. The oldest part of the building was constructed in 1887 by the company Jones and Cole from a design by White cooper. It was constructed using Kimberley red brick, a common material for the area. In 1985 the building was declared to be a National monument.