Lydenburg has become a popular stopover for travellers visiting well-known tourist attractions in Mpumalanga. The name of the town Lydenburg in Mpumalanga derives from the Dutch language and directly translated means “town of suffering”. It occupies a special place in the history of the region previously known as the Eastern Transvaal. Founded in 1849, the town was named in memory of those who had died in a devastating malaria epidemic in the nearby town of Ohrigstad. Steeped in Voortrekker history, Lydenburg was once the capital of its own independent republic and still boasts some of the best-preserved Zuid Afrikaanse and old Transvaal architecture in the country. One of the most famous discoveries in the area is that of the Lydenburg Heads, one of the earliest known forms of African sculpture. These seven sculptures date back to as far as AD500 to AD800 and it is believed that they were once used for either ritualistic or religious purposes.Today, Lydenburg, which is situated on the Strekspruit River, has become synonymous with being a convenient stopover for visitors touring the many well-known tourist sites in the surrounding areas. Located on the main route to Pilgrims Rest, the entire region is awash with a wealth of tourist attractions and architectural landmark sites and these draw thousands of visitors. There are ample facilities on offer for trout fishing enthusiasts as well as numerous hiking trails in the surrounding hills. The area has adapted and grown with increasing tourism and there are a large number of guest houses and self-catering establishments that service the demand for accommodation. On the commercial front, the area offers a healthy mix of farming and mining opportunities and continues to draw South Africans from all walks of life.There have been a total of 114 sales in the area over the past 12 months. According to the latest figures released by Lightstone, 106 of the sales were freehold properties and eight properties were sectional title. With the average price for freehold property purchases coming in at the R840 000 mark, and the average price one could expect to pay for a sectional title unit being R556 000, the area seems to offer excellent value for money.This said, the statistics indicate a steady growth in price achieved since 2004, predominantly in the freehold sector, whereby the average price paid for a freehold property in 2004 was R359 000. There are a number of schools in the area that cater for all age groups, with Lydenburg Laerskool and Lydenburg High School, which are comprehensive schools. The area also offers Estralita Christian School, which is a school that caters for children with learning disabilities, and has an experienced staff complement trained to deal with special needs learners.
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