Masitise Cave House Museum – Quthing, Lesotho - Atlas Obscura

Masitise Cave House Museum

Quthing, Lesotho

This odd little home was built right into an African rock face. 


Built directly into the rock, the Masitise Cave House Museum is the former private home of Revered David-Frederic Ellenberger, a Swiss missionary.

Ellenberger created the small residence in 1867 after he and his family were forced further South by the Basotho-Boar War. Ellenberger found a well-known cave in the rocky mountains of Lesotho and decided it was the perfect spot to found his new church, and bring God to the people of the country. The missionary built a brick edifice on to the opening of the cave and spent 55 years ministering to the peoples of the area. The cave had previously been used as a shelter for the local tribes, but soon became a beacon of Christianity.

In addition to its half-natural construction the cave house also had a handful of other features. There is a dinosaur track in the ceiling and it is said that Ellenberger’s son is entombed in the wall.    

The home is now a small museum holding an eclectic group of objects, including family photos, traditional clothing, taxidermied animals, and of course a dinosaur footprint in the ceiling.

Know Before You Go

The Cave House is about 5 kilometers west of Quthing. You have to turn onto the road for the Masitise Primary School. Before you reach the school, follow the road to the right. You'll reach a small cluster of buildings and someone there can open the Cave House for you.

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April 3, 2015

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