See also Encounter Magazine's guide on South Africa Museums
A trendsetter in many ways, Kimberley can boast it was the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to install electric street lighting and the first in South Africa to switch to an automatic exchange and it housed the country's first Stock Exchange.
Today various memorials and national monuments remind us of these firsts.Memorial to Sister Henriettta Stockdale
Henrietta Stockdale, an Anglican nun of the Order of Saint Michael and All Angels, became the first matron of the new Kimberley hospital. In 1891 Sister Henrietta secured legal recognition for the profession when, through her efforts, an Act was passed by the Cape Parliament which made South Africa the first country in the world to institute compulsory state registration of nurses.
The statue of Sister Henrietta in front of the St Cyprian's Cathedral is reputed to be the only portrait statue of a nun in the world.Memorial to the Pioneers of Aviation
Kimberley can truly be called the nursery of flying in Southern Africa. This national monument is located on the site of the continent's first flying school, which was established in 1912/13, and which was the birthplace of the South African Air Force.
It is a reconstruction of the hangar, containig a replica of the Compton Paterson biplane used in flight training. School of Mines
South Africa's first School of Mines was established in Kimberley in 1896, and was transferred to Johannesburg early this century where it became the foundation of the University of the Witwatersrand. The building, in Hull Street, a national monument, now houses an arts workshop. The Honoured Dead Memorial
Instigated by Cecil John Rhodes and designed by Sir Herbert Baker, this memorial commemorates those who lost their lives during the 124-day siege of Kimberley at the start of 1899 - 1902 Anglo-Boer War.
"Long Cecil" the gun named after Rhodes and built in the De Beers workshops during the siege stands at the base of the monument surrounded by Boer "Long Tom" Shells.
The monument is built of sandstone quarried near the Matopos in Zimbabwe and bears an inscription by Rudyard Kipling and bronze plaques by Kipling's father. Ernest Oppeinheimer memorial garden and diggers fountain
The Gardens are a memorial to the late Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, diamond magnate and the first elected mayor of the municipality of the city of Kimberley when Beaconsfield and Kimberley were combined into a city in 1912.
The miners memorial, or diggers fountain, was erected in honour of past and present diggers. It portrays five life-sized diggers, holding a diamond sieve on high and was designed by Herman Wald.
A bust of Sir Ernest gazes out over the fountain and the rose garden. Kimberly Mine Museum
It is situated next to the Big Hole and houses the first recorded diamond discovery.