What is inside The Shoe?
The Shoe is where the ‘Old Lady’ lived with her many children as the nursery rhyme states:
The Shoe is where the story of the Old Lady comes to life. It contains the furniture of the ‘Old Lady’ which includes things like her bed, dressing table, kitchen with fire place and her baby cradles. All these furniture items were created and built by artist Ron van Zyl.
The Shoe also contains a small museum featuring the history of the Ohrigstad Valley. These museum pieces were dug out of a shallow cave on the property. Skeletons of animals, artifacts from the Iron period as well as a whole scull of a Bapedi boy is on display. You can read about the history of Malaria as well as the History of Tobacco and more about the Ancient Bapedi Initiation process.
Ron carves indigenous hard woods and sell’s them here at The Shoe. He also carves on order. Visit his Artworks page to see more of His works.
The Shoe is open to the public and can be visited during business hours. The small entrance fee goes towards The Shoe Ministries.
Who built The Shoe?
Ron has made a living here, on the Panorama route, by selling his hand carved wooden sculptures for the past 45 years.
The Shoe was built in 1990 by Ron van Zyl. The Van Zyl family has been part of the Ohrgistad community since 1974 when Ron moved here from Cape Town and built his first big tourist attraction called ‘The Doomed’. This 15 meter high rock face took Ron 2 years complete and he was 25 years old at the time. This Rock face can be seen just 3 km’s from The Shoe, on the way to the Ecco Caves. Ron met his wife and they moved to a piece of land a farmer gave them 5km’s from where the Shoe is, on the Graskop road. They built a Gallery called ‘Ron’s Art’ and made a living until they were able to buy their own property and they built The Shoe. It was his wife, Yvonne’s idea for she is from Dutch origin and the story of the ‘Old Lady’ was one of her favorite childhood stories.
What else can you do at The Shoe?
Ron has built many projects since he first came to Ohrigstad. One of them is called The Alpha Omega Cave. Ron had a vision about the Spiritual world long before he even built The Shoe. Eventually after completing the Shoe and the rest of the property he finally got around to building his vision. Seven (7) underground rooms in which he portrays the meaning for life, the plan of God and why Jesus Christ died for us. The Van Zyl family takes visitors on guided tours through their man made cave and explain to them the meaning of Ron’s vision and artworks inside the Cave. The Cave ends in a underground Chapel in which small Weddings are held.
Visit our Weddings and Functions page for more information on this.
His Wife, Yvonne has been making their famous ‘Big Shoe Burger’ ever since anybody can remember and visitors can eat at their small on-site Tea Garden. Visit our Food page for more information on the Restaurant.
The Shoe Guesthouse has 9 unique stone built self catering chalets. See more on our Accommodation tab.
Ron and Yvonne’s children and grandchildren are all involved in the business and everyone makes something with their hands. The ‘Handmade@The Shoe’ curio line is available from their curio shop. Including the ‘Face that Follows’ which can only be found here at The Shoe.
We have a hidden Geocach on site! Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online. More Info…