Jagersfontein – A Hub of Diamond Mining
Jagersfontein is an amazing tourist attraction with awesome historical sights. The town of Jagersfontein was founded back in 1871. The main attraction in this South African town is the diamond mine, the oldest of its kind.
Jagersfontein’s diamond mine is the world’s biggest vertical man-made hole and was dug by pick, shovel and dynamite. During the 100 year life span of Jagersfontein mine there were periods when mining slowed down, for instance during the two World Wars and the Great Depression. Although mining in Jagersfontein doesn’t take place actively in the area today you will not be disappointed upon a visit to this fascinating landmark. This wonderful and quaint mining village is a fascinating and magical place to come and see.
Workers at the Jagersfontein Diamond Mine discovered two of the ten largest natural diamonds that were ever found in the world – the 972-carat Excelsior diamond and the 637-carat Reitz diamond (later this stone was named the Jubilee). Equally impressive as the jewel diamonds found here and which are famous for their exceptional quality, clarity and brilliance.
Jagersfontein is a typical mining town that offers its visitors an exciting and interesting time of discovery. Visitors can acquaint themselves with the old mining museum called “Jagers Mining Village”- which is an interesting museum offering a glimpse into the history of this unique industry.
Jagersfontein also has a Moth Museum. Visitors will be interested examine some items of historical value related to various wars, including the Anglo-Boer War, the Namibian Border War, World War One and World War Two. If you don’t mind visiting grave sites, Jagersfontein Graveyard has many memorials to war heroes that were buried here. Travelers have also enjoyed experiencing some of South Africa’s oldest architecture in Jagersfontein. One example of local architecture can be seen by a visit to local Churches which were constructed by various denominations between 1881 and 1891.
For outdoor enthusiasts, especially hikers, there is a 35km walk on the Diggers Groot Gat Hiking Trail which takes about three days. On the Gat Hiking Trail hikers will be moved by the fascinating sights surrounding Jagersfontein.
On an historical side, Jagersfontein was the first town in the Free State Province of South Africa to have electricity and a piped water supply. For travelers wishing to explore diamond towns there is a wide selection of hotels and other accommodation. Jagersfontein boasts five large hotels. There is also the oldest Masonic Lodge in South African situated north of the Gariep River.
Whether you live in South African or are a tourist looking for exciting and interesting sites to explore, come and see one of the most amazing diamond mining towns in Africa!