Smuts House: Harmony and Peace in memory of a great man

Below a typical Highveld “koppie” in the little town of Irene just outside Pretoria is the unpretentious house that for more than half a century was home to one of South Africa’s greatest and most controversial sons, Jan Smuts.


The front of Smuts House

Smuts bought the house, which had been an officers’ mess in Middleburg, in the then Transvaal, in 1908 and had it brought to his farm, Doornkloof, where it still stands.


Maquette of statue of Smuts by Ivan Mitford-Barbeton

Smuts served two terms as Prime Minister of South Africa, and wrote the influential book which introduced the term “holism” which he coined: Holism and Evolution was published in 1926 and was praised by many, including Albert Einstein, who said of Smuts that Smuts was one of fewer than ten people in the world who really understood the theory of relativity.


The bedroom used by Queen Frederica of Greece during the Second World War

During the Second World War the exiled King and Queen of Greece were given refuge in South Africa and Queen Frederica actually stayed at Doornkloof.

The house and surrounding farm are now a museum housing many memorabilia of the great man and his family. Well worth a visit.


Bust of Smuts by Dr Jack Penn

© Text and photos copyright by Tony McGregor 2011


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