PELLA is an intriguing settlement established around a mission station founded by the London Missionary Society in 1814, then abandoned in 1872 and taken over by the Roman Catholic Church in 1878. After turning off the N14, take the right-hand fork after 3km and follow the dirt road for another 10km towards the range of mountains which follows the course of the Orange River.
Pella is a simple gathering of shacks, sandy roads and a few stone or brick buildings, in the midst of which a striking yellow cathedral stands in an open, dusty-white plot surrounded by stately date palms. The cathedral was built over seven years by two French missionaries in the 1880s who, lacking an experienced cathedral-builder in their group, used the Encyclopédie des Arts et Métiers for guidance. The surrounding mission buildings are attractive and still home to a community of nuns, and the cathedral itself is in continual use. The two small museums among the mission buildings are of some interest; if they're not open, ask at the mission office (Tel:&f054 971 0190).
There are no tourist facilities at Pella itself, although the excellent Klein Pella Guest House (Tel:054 972 9712, Web: www.karsten.co.za ; Price: R201-300), 24km away on a working farm beside the banks of the Orange River, offers both chalets and camping.