The top 4 historical sites and landmarks in Pretoria
Pretoria is a city that takes on many personas - from a hub of commercial activity and the heart of academia to being home to beautiful game reserves and architecturally designed real estate. But it doesn't end here, the city also has a rich history that has paved the way for fascinating historical sites and distinct landmarks with some dating back to as early as the beginning of the 20th century.
So if you're interested to know more about Pretoria's interesting history, read on further as we reveal the top 4 historical sites and landmarks that still echo through modern-day life.
1. Union Buildings
First up on the list is a landmark that is considered a reminder of political change and has been declared a national heritage site - this is none other than the Union Buildings. Throughout its history which dates back to 1913, it has been the epicentre of many iconic events such as the inauguration of South Africa's first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela, where years later, it also became the place where his body laid in state upon his death.
The official purpose of the Union Buildings is as the seat of the national government and home to the offices of the SA president. However, its impressive architecture, terraced gardens and panoramic views over the city also make it "unofficially" the prettiest place to visit.
On the Day of Reconciliation, 16 December 2013, a massive bronze statue of Nelson Mandela was unveiled on the grounds of the Union Buildings, just 11 days after his death. The statue is located on the spot where Mandela was inaugurated and is a great reminder of his spirit, depicting him with his arms outstretched and his face bearing his signature smile. Those visiting the site for the first time will likely be in awe of its size - it towers nine-metres high, making it the tallest figurative bronze sculpture of Mandela. Other interesting facts is that it weighs more than 3.5 tons, worth R8mil and took three weeks to complete.
3. Voortrekker Monument
The Voortrekker Monument is considered one of the most visited heritage sites of its kind in Gauteng, and perhaps the reason for this is its beautiful location that draws in visitors from all over the world. Situated in a 340-hectare game reserve of the same name, the monument is embraced by exquisite wildlife, some of which include zebra, wildebeest and buck. Inaugurated in 1949, Voortrekker Monument was built to commemorate the Great Trek, a time in history where Afrikaaner families embarked on a treacherous journey across the country to flee British rule in the Cape colony.
It has a number of lookout points where visitors can see spectacular views over the city, and there is even a restaurant terrace where you can enjoy a light meal and drink. Other interesting features here include two amphitheatres, a Wall of Remembrance - dedicated to those serving the SA Defense Force and an Afrikaner Heritage Centre.
4. Freedom Park
Freedom Park is truly a one-of-a-kind attraction in Pretoria, filled with striking landmarks at every turn. The park is a 52ha heritage precinct that is a grand remembrance of those who played a meaningful role in the fight for democracy in the country. Because of its purpose, there are many symbolic monuments placed around the park, including a 697 metre Wall of Names remembering all those who have lost their lives in the fight, The Garden Of Remembrance which is a space for reflection and prayer, and the Hapo Museum where you can learn about the story of Africa told over seven ages of history.
Living in Pretoria will not only place you amid a cosmopolitan lifestyle, but you will also have remarkable historical sites and landmarks on your doorstep. So, if you're planning to move into this modern yet timeless city, speak to us at CSi Property Group today.
Author: CSi Property Group