Esteemed visitors to Huguenot House
We recently were honoured by a visit of the living relatives of Nicolaas and Gerharda von Wielligh,
the owners of Huguenot House in the 1790’s. The von Wiellighs decorated their home with wall
paintings similar to those excavated at Pompei a few years earlier. Nicolaas and Gerharda and
their only surviving son and his wife were depicted as Roman gods in the ‘voor-’ and ‘agterkamer’
of their home in Cape Town. Today, the building is owned by Dr.Petre Prins and serves as the
head office of Prins & Prins Diamonds. Visitors are invited to visit Huguenot House – a true gem in
the heart of the old city.
von Wielligh History.
The patriarch of most of the South African von Wiellighs was Nicolaus von Willich, who arrived as a
young man at the Cape in 1705. His grandson, Nicolaas von Wielligh III was the owner of
Huguenot House from 1790 – 1815.
Jump six generations to Nic von Wielligh IX (1940-2014) who was a professor in nuclear science
and involved in the creation of the SA atomic bomb and also its disarmament. His daughter Lydia
von Wielligh-Steyn co-wrote the book “The Bomb – SA’s Nuclear Weapons Program” and is maried
to Professor Renier Steyn, while his son, Nicolaas Von Wielligh X, is an engineer in Australia.
Lydia, her brother Nicolaas and her husband Renier visited Huguenot House recently. Their
modern-day achievements and the standing of the von Wielligh family in South African history, is a
reflection of the avant garde spirit of their earlier forebearers.