Hahndorf – Or should I say Zebradorf?

IMG_4010 Hahndorf German flag

The Hahndorf Academy building houses the Heritage Museum and Art Gallery. Inside you’ll find a fascinating collection of artefacts dating back to the settlement of this area of the Adelaide Hills. Well it’s fascinating to me, that’s why I have a degree in history.  It might not be fascinating to everybody, and that might be the reason why I’d never met anyone else with a degree in history.

 IMG_4026 Hahndorf Hertiage Museum

So despite the fact that no one else cares I’m going to recount the story of Hahndorf here for you now.  I promise I’ll get back to blogging about food, drink and other fun things next week.

 IMG_4013 Hahndorf Heritage Muesum

Escaping religious persecution, the result of King Frederich Wilhelm III decision to amalgamate the Lutheran and Reformed churches in what is now Germany, 199 Lutherans set sail from Hamburg for the colony of South Australia. Their captain’s name was Dirk Hahn and their ship was called the Zebra.

 IMG_4021 hahndorf heritage museum

The Zebra arrived in Port Adelaide in December 1838 after a 129 day voyage. Captain Hahn was integral to the negotiation that resulted in the Lutheran’s begin granted a parcel of land near Mount Barker as well as provisions of seed, fowls and cattle on credit until their first harvest.

In thanks and recognition of his assistance the people named their new home Hahndorf.  Dorf being their word for village.


IMG_4035 Captain Hahn


But I have to ask, what would the character of the town we visit for its German roots be like if it was instead named after the vessel they arrived on?

Why oh why didn’t the Lutheran’s of 1839 call their town Zebradorf?

 IMG_4031 Hahndorf Inn


3 thoughts on “Hahndorf – Or should I say Zebradorf?”

  1. If you had read D M Hahn’s journal you would know why the migrants were grateful and named the town Hahndorf.

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