C P Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn
is a cultural museum and although offering various themes, the main theme is 'The Ostrich throughout the Ages'.
The Main Museum is named in honour of Colonel C P Nel, who opened his private collection to the public in 1937 in another venue. In 1973 his collection was brought to its present home - the former Oudtshoorn Boys' High School building, designed by Charles Bullock in 1906.
It's eye-catching clock tower on the main building and the school hall (deigned by JE Vixseboxse in 1913), are architectural features of Oudtshoorn and among the most beautiful examples of sandstone buildings erected during the second ostrich-feather `Boom' of 1900 - 1914.
The CP Nel Museum is a cultural museum. It was established with the purpose of collecting, preserving and exhibiting articles of local historical interest. The purpose today includes the cultural history of the Klein Karoo region.
It's special features include:
The theme of "The Ostrich throughout the Ages" is displayed in the main hall, in the form of dioramas, which depict the ostrich in cultural, historical and natural history aspects.
The contribution of the Jewish Community towards the development of Oudtshoorn is highlighted in the reconstruction of the interior of a now-demolished Oudtshoorn Synagogue, dating back to 1896, and other displays. The Museum is the only museum with a Synagogue inside which is still in use.
The Museum is also famed for its old-fashioned grocery store, a reconstruction of a chemist-shop, said to be one of the finest replicas of an early twentieth century pharmacy in the world; its collection of early transport vehicles; its firearm collection and documents on ostrich and local architecture.
Also to be seen are dioramas depicting the wildlife of the Klein Karoo. Le Roux Town House
As annex to the C P Nel Museum, Town House was designed in Art Nouveau-style by Charles Bullock and erected by the Coe & Bolton Contractors in 1909. It was used as their Town House by the Le Roux Family of Bakenskraal, a farm near Oudtshoorn.
The house's furnishings were bought between 1900 - 1920. Address
3 Baron van Rheede Street, Oudtshoorn
Mondays - Fridays: 08:00 -17:00
Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays: 09:00 - 17:00
Tel: +27 (0)44 272 7306