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Heidelberg, Western Cape

Heidelberg is located in Western Cape
 Heidelberg shown within Western Cape
Heidelberg is located in South Africa
Heidelberg (South Africa)
Heidelberg is located in Africa
Heidelberg (Africa)
Coordinates: 34°05′S 20°57′E / 34.083°S 20.950°E / -34.083; 20.950
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
District Garden Route
Municipality Hessequa
Established 1855
 • Total 23.69 km2 (9.15 sq mi)
Elevation 84 m (276 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 8,259
 • Density 350/km2 (900/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 9.3%
 • Coloured 75.3%
 • Indian/Asian 0.4%
 • White 14.4%
 • Other 0.6%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Afrikaans 91.9%
 • English 3.4%
 • Xhosa 2.9%
 • Other 1.8%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street) 6665
PO box 6665
Area code 028

Heidelberg is a town in the Western Cape, South Africa. It is located near South Africa's south coast, on the N2 highway, 274 km east of Cape Town (about half way between Cape Town and Knysna). Heidelberg is just east of the Overberg region, and some consider it the beginning of the Garden Route. Heidelberg is part of the Hessequa Local Municipality. Fourie House on Fourie Street is the oldest house in Heidelberg.


In 1716, Louis Fourie obtained grazing rights from Governor van der Stel and he settled alongside the Duivenhoks River.[citation needed] This is where he later constructed the Doornboom Homestead - registered in 1728 - and the Doornboom Farm was established.

The area was initially part of the greater Riversdale district until the Riversdale Dutch Reformed church council in 1855 bought a portion of the farm Doornboom on which to lay out the town when a new Dutch Reformed congregation was created for the farmers between Swellendam and Riversdale.

The town grew around the church and it was named in honour of the German town, Heidelberg, because of the Heidelberg catechism that was practiced in the church.

In 1903 Heidelberg became part of the railway network and became an important transport link for the wool, wheat, fruit, and tobacco industries of the area. The river, the Duivenhoks (Dovecote), was named by an explorer, Isaq Schrijver, who observed a lot of doves where the river flows into the Indian Ocean, at a place called Puntjie.


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Heidelberg". Census 2011. 

External links