Brakpan historical buildings to add to your bucket list
Category General News
If your inner historian is craving a blast from the past, head to Brakpan. This year the town celebrates 100 years since it received municipal status. With all that time, you can bet your boots it has some gems down its roads and streets. Every structure here has tales to tell from bowling triumphs to community activism. So launch your map app, put on some sunscreen and explore these parts of Brakpan's heritage.
Your love of old churches will be rewarded in Brakpan. St George's Hellenic Orthodox Church has beautiful artwork, antique pews and a stunning chandelier. St John the Baptist Catholic Church features a marble altar imported from Italy. Earlier this year, a new stained glass window was commissioned by the church. The window, named 'The Holy Spirit', features a dove symbolising peace in South Africa.
The roadhouse was a popular American tradition that captured South Africa in the 1940s. The result is the Casbah Roadhouse - a place where you can enjoy good food delivered right to your car. Named after the film, Casablanca, the building evokes that very era. Think retro neon lights and art deco patterns. Casbah is also where Brakpan's own rock and rollers, Johnny Kongos and the G Men, launched their careers.
Brakpan Town Hall
The old town hall is well worth a visit. This is where then Prime Minister John Vorster addressed crowds on South Africa's anti-terrorist activity in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). It's where architect, Vivian Sydney Rees-Poole, the brains behind Pretoria's Church Square and Bloemfontein's Market Square, exhibited drawings.
As you admire the stately stone walls, know you're not alone. The Brakpan Museum NPC recently nominated it to be a national heritage site.
Brakpan Mines Bowling Club
Stop by this sports centre for bowling and historical insight. The club was established in 1942 and is the oldest operational bowling club in Gauteng. Esteemed club players include Thinus Oelofse and Wade Ferguson. You can be a part of the club's legacy. Its committee encourages all bowlers, young and old, to join in the fun. They also offer free coaching lessons.
If you've read The Da Vinci Code, you'd be intrigued by the Masonic Lodge. In 1919, Reverend Maisel called for the creation of an area for mason meetings. The next year, he got his wish. A space was consecrated in Brakpan. Membership of the lodge has ranged from 30 to over 50 people in earlier years. The lodge remains active in the community and its members are well known for their annual church service.
David Bopape's house
South Africa's struggle history gave rise to many brave leaders. David Bopape is at the top of that list. He was one of the founders of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League. His activism includes teacher marches, bus boycotts and protests against injustice. Sadly, Bopape passed away in 2004. You can still visit the Brakpan house where he spent his days. There have been calls by the public to turn it into a museum to celebrate his legacy.
World War 1 and 2 inflicted indelible wounds on our country. Lives were lost, families destroyed and hundreds returned home injured. The Cosy Corner became a space where veterans could meet and share memories of the days gone by. The property pays tribute to the sacrifice paid for the price of freedom. You'll find it hard not to shed a tear after browsing the photographs, remembrance garden, plaques and artefacts on display.
Brakpan's history is alive - beautiful, dramatic and always exciting. There's a strong sense of community that will make you feel like you belong. With Century 21, you can take the next step. View our listings and find your Brakpan home today.
Author: Century 21