Heidelberg is a town with 35,500 inhabitants in the Gauteng province of South Africa at the foot of the Suikerbosrand next to the N3 highway, which connects Johannesburg and Durban.HistoryHeidelberg began in 1862 as a trading station built by a German, Heinrich Julius Ueckermann. A town was laid out around the store and named after Ueckermann's alma mater. In 1866, the District of Heidelberg was created from the eastern portion of the Potchefstroom district with its own landdroost (magistrate) having been laid out as a churchplace in 1865.Heidelberg is some 50 kilometres south-east of Johannesburg, close to the Mpumalanga border. Just south of the town is the De Hoek toll plaza on the newest section of the N3, which opened in December 2001.Heidelberg sits nestled at the eastern end of the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, a large tract of land that is home to Gauteng's highest point, almost 2,000 metres above sea level.Heidelberg has played an important part in South African history acting as a capital for the Boer republic during the war with Great Britain. During the First War of Independence, Heidelberg served as capital of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek under the Triumvirate of Paul Kruger, P.J. Joubert and M.W. Pretorius, from 1880 to 1883.