Pretoria Journals

Weekend trip to Pretoria

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A December 2006 trip to Pretoria by MiriamMannak

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Quote: While Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, might not be the top destination in the country, the city boasts some very interesting sites that are absolutely worth seeing.

Weekend trip to Pretoria

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Overview

Quote:
Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, is situated in the Gauteng province about 60km from Johannesburg. In 2005 the city was officially renamed Tshwane as part of a national name-change campaign that aims to get rid of controversial names that recall the apartheid era. The reason why Pretoria was renamed has to do with its history. Marthinus Pretorius, who was a leader of the Voortrekkers, founded the town in 1855. These were Dutch pioneers who, in the 19th century, had left the cape to escape British rule and form their own republic elsewhere in South Africa. Marthinus named the settlement in memory of his father Andries, who led the famous Battle of Blood Rive...Read More

Church Square

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Attraction | "The Palace of Justice--Church Square"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The first stop during our drive through Pretoria was Church Square. This is the centre of the city's historical heart and boasts such important buildings as the Old Capitol Theatre, the Tudor Chambers, the Old Council Chamber, and the Palace of Justice. The last one gave me the shivers, as it was here where the Rivonia Trial took place in 1963 and 1964.During this trial, Nelson Mandela and other prominent figures of the ANC, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi, Ahmed Kathrada, Denis Goldberg, and Wilton Mkwayi, were tried for treason and 221 acts of sabotage to "...ferment a violent revolution..."and thus to overthrow the government. After being found g...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2006

Church Square
Church Street
Pretoria, South Africa 0001

Church Square

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Attraction | "Statue of Paul Kruger/Church Square"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The main eye-catcher is a massive statue of Boer Leader Paul Kruger, with  four anonymous citizen soldiers at his feet.Kruger, or "Oom Paul" (Uncle Paul), is one of the most important figures to many Afrikaners (South Africans of Dutch descent): In the late 18th century, he was one of the most prominent Afrikaners to fight for Afrikaner independence and freedom in South Africa and against British domination, a mission that failed because after the Anglo-Boer war (1899 - 1902), Britain gained control over South Africa.Observing the statue, I could not decide what opinion to have. The construction is truly enormous, but somehow it does not have a great ef...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 3, 2006

Church Square
Church Street
Pretoria, South Africa 0001

Union Buildings

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Attraction | "The Union Buildings"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
One of the major attractions of Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, is the Union Buildings. The Union Buildings are where the government and the president of South Africa do whatever they have and need to do; Parliament is seated in Cape Town.The Union Buildings, situated on Meintjies Kop and surrounded by a magnificent garden and different monuments, were built in the early 20th century. The construction of the buildings started in 1910, and apparently it took over 1,200 workers, more than 3 years, and more than 1.3 million English pounds to complete the project in 1913. The Union Buildings were the setting of one of the most important chapters of recent Sout...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 5, 2006

Union Buildings
Church Street
Pretoria, South Africa 0002
+27 (12) 323 5649

Voortrekker Monument

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Attraction

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
One of the most hideous constructions I have seen so far – in my life, that is – is without a doubt the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. It is a massive heap of concrete and bricks was build between 1938 and 1940 on Monument Hill, just outside Pretoria, and is a tribute to the Voortrekkers. These were Dutch pioneers who had left the Cape Province between 1835 and 1854 in thousands, to escape British control. They were seeking an independent state further up in South Africa, far away from British rule. The monument particularly commemorates those Voortrekkers who were involved in the Battle At Blood River on December 16 1838. On that day a group of 470 Voortrekkers defeated a 1...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 5, 2006

Voortrekker Monument
Eufees Road (M7)
Pretoria, South Africa 0181
+27 (12) 326 6770

About the Writer

MiriamMannak

MiriamMannak
Cape Town, South Africa

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