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Trip Planner Africa  /  South Africa  /  Northern Cape  /  Sutherland

Sutherland

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Observatories · Churches
Sutherland is a town with about 2,841 inhabitants in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. It lies in the western Roggeveld Mountains in the Karoo.HistorySutherland was founded in 1723 as a church and market town to serve the area's sheep farmers. By 1872 the town had a population of 138 registered citizens living in 19 houses. The large Dutch Reformed church in the centre of Sutherland was built in 1899.During the Anglo Boer War the church was used as a fort by garrisoned British soldiers. During the war a number of engagements between British and Boer forces occurred in the town. In one such engagement a force of 250 Boer commandos attacked the local British garrison for 10 hours. The ruins of a fort can be found on the outskirts of town on the hill called Rebelskop. This was named after this engagement.EconomyMajor economic activities include tourism and sheep farming. The area includes at least twelve registered B&B's, guest houses and guest farms. The nearby South African Astronomical Observatory also plays a significant role in the town's economy and is a major driver of tourism to the area. The town also has a number of bars, restaurants and an amateur astronomy observatory that service the tourism sector.Sutherland has recently gained in popularity, with many Capetonians buying property in the town and many more visiting on weekends and vacations.GeographySutherland's arid climate and remote location 1450m above sea level make its night skies among the world's clearest and darkest. The telescopes of the South African Astronomical Observatory are nearby at. These include the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere.
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