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Tucked into a re-entrant into the Balelesberg is the historical town of Utrecht. This quaint town is almost an historical monument and for any one interested in the history of South Africa this little town is well worth a visit.

After the British Annexation of Natal in 1843 nearly two thirds of the Voortrekkers left the colony. In 1847 a small group of Trekkers chose to settle in the beautiful area east of the Umzinyathi or Buffalo River.

The territory was granted to them by the Zulu King Mpande, first in a verbal agreement and later in 1854 in a written agreement. CJ van Rooyen, the man who concluded the agreement was an excellent Zulu linguist and well known by the Zulu King. It was van Rooyen who performed the ceremony of proclaiming Mpande King of the Zulus in 1840 after he had defeated Dingane.

The small republic became known as the “Buffaloriviersemaatschapij”. It was also often referred to as the “Old Republic” and was one of the 5 early Voortrekkers’ settlements the existed in 1850.

The Town was established in 1855 and 1856 adopted the name of Utrecht. In 1859 Utrecht became part of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek.

After the Anglo Boer War of 1899 – 1902 the region was incorporated into Natal.

The town has a number of attractive buildings and sites that give it a typical colonial era appeal and a real sense of history.

It also now has an attractive Game Park surrounding the town and one can picnic alongside the dam.

Places of Interest

The British Military Cemetery

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Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal

415 | On the outskirts of the town on the way to the dam the town cemetery is on the Read More →

Petrus Lafras Uys Memorial

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Petrus Lafras Uys Memorial, Kerk Straat, Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal

416 | Petrus Lafras Uys was one of the original settlers in this area in 1847. He was the first Read More →

Capt.Pokrowski Memorial and Wall of Remembrance

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Capt.Pokrowski Memorial and Wall of Remembrance, Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal

723 | 25 December 1900 25 December 1900. Memorial to Polish officer in the Russian army, who died fighting in a Read More →

Utrecht Landdrost and Post & Telegraph Office

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The Landdrost and Post & Telegraph Office, Voor Street, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

Erected in 1892 this building is also a National Monument.

Old Parsonage Museum

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Old Parsonage Museum, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

Once the home of the Dutch Reformed Church Pastor Rev. Neethling now houses the Utrecht Museum. Emergency numbers are 067 110 Read More →

Utrecht Old Residency

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The Old Residency, Kerk Street, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

The old Residency erected in 1892 is a National Monument.
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The Old Irrigation System

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The Old Irrigation System, Hoog Street, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

The town was established in 1855 and in 1860 the irrigation system was started and considerably extended up to 1865. Read More →

Utrecht Old Anglican Church

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The Old Anglican Church, Voor Street, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

This building was erected in 1899 but is not an historical monument. The interior of this church is still a Read More →

The Shaw House

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The Shaw House, Kerk Street, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

This house is a national monuments and is considered to be amongst the finest examples of Natal residential architecture in Read More →

The Uys House

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The Uys House, Kerk Street, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

This is one of the oldest buildings in KwaZulu Natal north of the Tugela River and dates back to 1856. Read More →

Utrecht Town Hall

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The Town Hall, Voor Street, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

This lovely sandstone building was erected in 1913 and is a National Monument.

Utrecht Dutch Reform Church

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Dutch Reform Church, Kerk Street, Utrecht, KwaZulu Natal

This magnificent old building was erected during the ministry of Rev. H. L. Neethling the first moderator of the "Nederdutsche Read More →
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2 Comment

  1. Battlefields by The Naked Barista – Superblessed and Loved, 15 March 2016 at 3:59 pm

    […] Utrecht where both Sir Evelyn Wood and Lord Chelmsford had their headquarters was titled after a Dutch town. In 1843, with the Brittish Annexation of Natal, nearly two-thirds of the Voortrekkers left the area. Land, just East of the Buffalo River was granted by the Zulu King Mpande in 1847 to a small group of Voortrekkers. They first named it ‘Buffalo River se Maatchapij’ and then the Old Republic, before Utrecht was adopted in 1856. […]

  2. Alex, 9 January 2019 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for this. As a lover of early SA architecture, esp churches, KZN is largely unexplored, for me. Hopefully, I can soon put that right, and take in the battlefields as well as the old buildings. Utrecht, and obviously a number of surrounding towns, has an interesting history. See you soon!


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