Today, Sept 24th is a public holiday here in South Africa called Heritage Day. This holiday was created in order to celebrate the varied cultures and traditions across the nation. It has also more recently come to be known as National Braai Day (BBQ) but for purposes of this blog post, I am going to stick with the more traditional meaning.
This past weekend the Heritage Portal of Johannesburg organized a series of tours and walks to various heritage sites across the city. This was a great chance to explore some places that are not ordinarily open to the public. Everything sounded really interesting so it was a difficult decision but we decided to do the Villa Arcadia tour on Saturday afternoon.
If you have already been following my blog, you probably know that I am a big fan of Ishvara Dhyan’s Ancient Secrets walks. As still a relative newcomer to Joburg, I really enjoy getting to know the fascinating neighborhoods that Ishvara has chosen for his walking tours. This has given me the opportunity to learn about many places that I probably previously would never have thought to step foot in. Doornfontein was the third walk we have done with Ishvara after the Troyeville Walk and the Jeppestown Walk.
What I find especially captivating about these walks is that each neighborhood is packed with a varied history and Ishvara is a master at relating the path of evolution these neighborhoods have taken through the years. It is often said that Johannesburg is a city that is constantly reinventing itself and I found this to be particularily true of the Doornfontein neighborhood.