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City Cullinan

The charming village of Cullinan still has much of its historic character and mining village and even today the diamond mine is still in use. The first miners' cottages, offices and churches were built in the early 1900's with beautiful fences, porches and small gardens. The McHardy House was built in 1903 for the first manager of the mine. Until 1984 McHardy two daughters still lived in the house. After the death of the daughters the house was renamed a Museum. The apparatus is still largely unchanged from 1903 (open daily, except Tuesdays, from 10:00 to 15:00). The streets are lined with beautiful oak and jacaranda trees (around October it has the beautiful purple blossoms). You will find Cullinan 30 kilometres east of Pretoria in the Gauteng province.

Cullinan is known for its diamond mine and was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the mine in the early years. In 1905, the largest diamond in the world was found here, the Cullinan Diamond. This diamond had a length of almost 10 cm, weighed 621 grams and was no less than 3106 carats. The then government of the Transvaal bought the diamond and gave the gift to King Edward VII. In 1908 the diamond was cut into pieces, the largest piece was called the Great Star of Africa and the second largest piece the Lesser Star of Africa. The Star of Africa today can still be found in the crown jewels of the British Royal Family (in a sceptre to be exact).

When you visit Cullinan then you should not miss a tour of the mine. The tours start at the information centre / museum where a film is shown. Then the guide will take you on the site of the mine and a museum which showcases a replica of the Great Star of Africa to give you an idea of ​​the size of the diamond. You will see a huge hole where excavations have been done (1000m at 50 meters and 450 meters deep), you can also view "The Big Hole" and to access the lookout is free. The regular tour (about 1.5 hours and about R 100 per person), you will not go underground. Those who have saved enough money can buy jewellery with diamonds in the exclusive shop / showroom at the end of the tour.

The workmen and former offices are today in use as a shop, art gallery, antique shop or restaurant. You'll also find some beautiful tea gardens where you can eat and drink. Travelling with children? At Harrie's Pancakes, you can find a huge variety of pancakes for young and old.

Your holiday begins at South Africa Specialist!