Cullinan – Popular Weekend Getaway
With its historic buildings, tranquil atmosphere and old world charm, the little town of Cullinan, located around thirty kilometers east of Pretoria, is a popular weekend getaway offering respite from the hustle and bustle of city life for city-dwellers. Named in honor of Sir Thomas Cullinan who discovered diamonds in the area in 1902, Cullinan was the site of Africa’s largest Prisoner of War camp during WWII, and a well preserved graveyard bears testimony to those who died in captivity.
Cullinan is most likely best known for its diamond mining operations which produced the largest uncut diamond in the world, measuring in at 3,106 carats it came to be known as the Cullinan Diamond. It was discovered on 25 June 1905 by the Premier Diamond Mining Company’s surface manager at the time, Frederick Wells. The Transvaal government bought the Cullinan Diamond and presented it as a gift to King Edward VII. The Cullinan Diamond was cut and polished, with the resulting Cullinan I and Cullinan II (also known as the Greater and Lesser Star of Africa) both forming part of the United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels. With diamond’s being an integral part of Cullinan’s history, visitors to this quaint Gauteng Province town should take time to enjoy a surface tour of the Cullinan Diamond Mine which is conducted seven days a week.