Museums, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens

ID #2638

Paul Kruger House Museum, Boekenhoutfontein, Rustenburg, Bushveld, North-West Province.

“Search in the past for all that is good and beautiful, make it your ideal and build on it your future”. President Paul Kruger’s last message. In the foothills of the picturesque Pilanesberg Mountains in the North-West Province. It is often forgotten that, before becoming President of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, Paul Kruger was a successful and productive farmer who owned several farms in the Rustenburg district.  The museum stands on one of these farms – Boekenhoutfontein – and encompasses a collection of unique historical buildings offering an insight into Kruger’s life at a time when the Transvaalers were locked in a struggle for sovereignty with the mighty British Empire.

The buildings were devastated by the British during the Anglo-Boer War and, after his death in 1904, they passed to Paul Kruger's descendants.  Declared a national monument in 1936 and preserved by the Van der Stel Foundation since 1971, it is now administered by Kedar Hotel.

Kruger probably occupied Bronkhorst House, dating back to the 1840’s while building his first house at Boekenhoutfontein. The simple thatched building that stands between the main house and the Pieter Kruger House is now the curio shop.  On display are examples of the arts and crafts of the Bafokeng, whom Kruger befriended and persuaded to register their land rights, resulting in their great wealth from the platinum mines.

The main house where he lived with his large family (he fathered 16 children with his second wife, Gezina) is a solid and stately building which conveys his invincible belief in the future of his country and it speaks volumes about his character.  The neat buildings bear witness to his sense of order and symmetry. Simple building methods and materials are evident, such as rough beechwood lintels, cow dung, peach pip and blood floors and roof beams fastened by dowels and leather thongs. Craftsmen in Europe have recreated period furniture and authentic wallpaper. Kruger’s rifle is on show, although it is probably not the one with which he killed a lion at the tender age of 14. Also on show are his many bibles and the bellows organ that was played by his wife as well as many gifts given to him by visiting state dignitaries. In close proximity are family graves, the koppie where he sought religious guidance and the saddle in the hills where he hid his horses from British forces.

The old schoolhouse, probably built by his son Pieter, has served many purposes over the years. Today it is a simple chapel and conference room. The dams built by Kruger have been restored and today serve as watering holes for the herds of game that can today be viewed at close quarters.

Rustenburg is on the N4 west of Pretoria. Travel west on the N4 out of Rustenburg and then turn north onto the R565. 5-km past Phokeng, there is a sign on the left to Kedar Country Hotel and the Paul Kruger House Museum. Travelling from Sun City on the R565, the sign is on the right past Boshoek. BHPaul

Contct:            Private Bag 1 Muldersdrift 1747
+27 (11) 957 2099 telephone Reservations
+27 (11) 957 3212 fax Reservations

Box 81 Boshoek 0301
+27 (14) 573 3218 telephone and fax Kedar Country Hotel

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Last update: 2014-02-23 19:46
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.4

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