Grahamstown is best known as an educational centre. It is home to the prestigious Rhodes University as well as to a number of private schools: Diocesan School for Girls, Kingswood College, St Andrews’ Preparatory School and St Andrews’ College. Other well-known schools in the town include Graeme College, Victoria Girls’ High School, and P J Olivier Hoerskool. Grahamstown is also host to a campus of the Eastcape Midlands College.

In addition Grahamstown is also known as the "City of Saints". Many believe that this is due to the fact that there are a lot of churches in Grahamsown. However, locals believe that the origin of this name dates back to garrison days when a requisition for a vital piece of carpentry equipment met with the courteous reply : “We regret we have no vice in Grahamstown”. Back bounced the obvious rejoinder: “Then you must all be saints”. The Anglican Cathedral of St Michael and St George is a diocesan seat of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Grahamstown also has Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Ethiopian Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, Pinkster Protestante, Dutch Reformed (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk), Charismatic, Apostolic and Pentecostal churches. There are also meeting places for Hindus, Scientologists, Quakers, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Muslims. In fact it is said that there is a church in Grahamstown for every week of the year.

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