Dorp (town)

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Bredasdorp was the first dorp in South Africa, founded in 1838 by Michiel van Breda, the first Mayor of Cape Town.[1]

Dorp is a village or small town, in the Dutch communities of countries such as Netherlands, Suriname, Belgian Flanders and South Africa. In some places, a dorp is also a local government area or municipality, which may also administer one or more separate, smaller settlements, such as hamlets.

As a Dutch language term, dorp is also used in Afrikaans which originated from 17th Century Dutch. It is often used in South African English, in which it is a loanword from Afrikaans.

Roger Ballen photographed the dorps of South Africa while touring the country as a geologist in the 1980s. His photographs evoke the character of these small towns of the apartheid era.[2] Other artistic works which are based on these Calvinist communities founded by the Boers include Stephen Black's 1920 novel, The Dorp and Herman Charles Bosman's 1977 novel Willemsdorp.[3]


  1. Chris Schoeman (2017), The Historical Overberg: Traces of the Past in South Africa's Southernmost Region, Penguin Random House South Africa, p. 155, ISBN 9781776090730
  2. Roger Ballen (2010), Dorps: Small Towns of South Africa, Protea Book House, ISBN 9781869193942[page needed]
  3. Salomé Snyman (2012), "Willemsdorp by Herman Charles Bosman: the small-town locale as fictional vehicle for commentary on social and moral issues in the South African historical context", Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, 49 (2): 60–71

See also[edit]

  • Dorp (disambiguation)
  • Thorp, a doublet for the term "dorp"

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