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Evangelical Lutheran Friedenskirche (“Church of Peace”)
Lutheran Friedenskirche church building including Bell tower
Plaques on church wall

The Friedenskirche congregation was founded as a German Evangelical Lutheran congregation in 1888, two years shortly after the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand, to minister to German-speaking Protestants, and give the German community a home in a foreign country. This church stood on the North-Eastern corner of the intersection of Hancock and Quartz Streets, thus located in Johannesburg proper - the town which had been laid out on the farm Randjeslaagte.

A simple, plain church building of conventional structure was erected. Later, a fairly large piece of land in Hillbrow was made available to the German community of Johannesburg by the government of the South African Republic headed by Paul Kruger. This site was divided between the Lutheran congregation and the German School.

Quick Facts
  • JP Tile No.: 6
  • Building Age: 1912
  • Name of site: Evangelical Lutheran Friedenskirche (“Church of Peace”)
    • Other Names (if any): Lutheran Church, Hillbrow.
  • Location: Corner Kapteijn and Edith Cavell Streets; between Twist and Edith Cavell Streets.
  • Street address: 30 Edith Cavell Street Hillbrow, Johannesburg
  • District/Province/Region: Johannesburg / Gauteng
  • Ownership: Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, Johannesburg
  • Site Type: Church/Place of worship
  • State of Conservation: The property is well-maintained and preserved.

Plaques / Inscription

The bronze plaque installed by the National Monuments Council has long since disappeared.

A blue plaque is to be installed by the City in 2011 with the following inscription:

The Friedenskirche (“Church of Peace”) dates from 1912, built to house a German congregation formed in Johannesburg in 1888. Designed by Theodore Schaerer and built of the stone from the ridge on which it rises, the Church remains an important landmark. Its distinctive Bavarian bell-tower was familiar to the German immigrants, many of them living in cosmopolitan Hillbrow. The site was declared a National Monument in 1986.
Statement of Significance

Among the oldest surviving buildings in the area, the Friedenskirche represents something of the cosmopolitan character which has been a long-standing feature of Hillbrow in particular, and of Johannesburg more broadly. For many years, the church was central to the religious and community life of German immigrants. The Friedenskirche is the mother congregation of several Lutheran congregation on the Witwatersrand. The building is distinguished by it’s fine architectural qualities and detailing, embracing valuable artefacts, from the German Protestant tradition. It is a landmark building and still important in the Hillbrow community

Legal Status (Decree/Act)
Declared a National Monument in 1986. Currently, the Friedenskirche holds the status of a Provincial Heritage Site.
Authority Responsible
Provincial heritage resources Authority – Gauteng (PHRA-G)

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