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Pretoria City

Pretoria City - Half Day Tour. - 690.00 per person.

Known as the “Jacaranda city” we find the city of Pretoria (Tswane) with its streets lined up with purple blossoms from the Jacaranda’s every October-November, offering a gentler and slower pace than Joburg. Wander through stately old buildings and fascinating museums, Voortrekker Monument ; or stop over and enter the residence of President Paul Kruger, our first President or visit the Union Buildings, office of the State President of the Republic.

Union Buildings:

The Union Buildings form the official seat of the South African government and also house the offices of the President of South Africa. The imposing buildings are located in Pretoria, close to historic Church Square and the Voortrekker Monument. Though not in the center of Pretoria the Union Buildings occupy the highest point of Pretoria, and constitute a South African National monument. The Union Buildings are the site of Presidential Inaugurations, the official offices of the president are on the left-hand side of the Union Buildings, and a flag would fly on the left-hand side if the president were in office.The interiors are treated in the Cape Dutch Style: carved teak fanlights, heavy doors dark ceiling beams contrasting with white plaster walls and heavy wood furniture. The building is surrounded by beautifully terraced gardens of indigenous plants.

Within the grounds various monuments adorn the expansive lawns. Starting from the bottom up, a large statue of General Louis Botha (First prime minister of the Union of South Africa) on horseback dominates the lawn.
About half way up the terraces, the Delville Wood War Memorial is a tribute to South African troops who died during the First World War as well as a plaque in memory of those that died during the Korean War.

Church Square:

It is the historic centre of the city of Pretoria, South Africa.It is one of the world's longest urban thoroughfares - it measures a distance of 26 km from end to end.
Pretoria city expanded around Church Square, at the intersection of Church Street and Paul Kruger Streets. Its most prominent feature is the statue of the Boer leader and president of the South African Republic Paul Kruger at its centre. Statues of four anonymous Boer citizen-soldiers surround that of Kruger's on a lower level of the plinth.
Several historically and architecturally significant buildings surround the square: the Palace of Justice, the Old Capitol Theatre, the Tudor Chambers, the Ou Raadsaal (Old Council Chamber) and the General Post Office, which was designed by John Cleland.
The turreted Palace of Justice was the scene of arguably the most famous political trial in South Africa's history, the Rivonia Trial. During this trial, Nelson Mandela and a number of other prominent liberation struggle figures were charged with treason and subsequently incarcerated.

Kruger House:

The historical Pretoria residence of the Boer leader and President of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger. It was built in 1884 by architect Tom Claridge and builder Charles Clark. Milk was used, instead of water, for mixing the cement from which the house was constructed, as the cement available was of poor quality.
The house was also one of the first in Pretoria to be lit by electricity. The house contains either the original furnishings or items from the same historical period, some of the many gifts that were presented to Kruger as well as other memorabilia. Another interesting feature of the house is two stone lions on the verandah that were presented to President Kruger as a birthday gift on 10 October 1896 by the mining magnate Barney Barnato.

The Voortrekker Monument:

The massive granite structure, built to honour the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854, was designed by the architect Gerard Moerdijk who had the idea to design a "monument that would stand a thousand years to describe the history and the meaning of the Great Trek to its descendants". It can be seen from almost any location in the city, as it is seated on a hilltop.

The idea to build a monument in honour of the Voortrekkers was first discussed on 16 December 1888, when President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic attended the Day of the Covenant celebrations at Blood River in Natal. However, the movement to actually build such a monument only started in 1931. Construction started on 13 July 1937 with a sod turning ceremony performed by chairman of the SVK, Advocate Ernest George Jansen, on what later became known as Monument Hill. On 16 December 1938 the cornerstone was laid by three descendants of some of the Voortrekker leaders: Mrs. J.C. Muller (granddaughter of Andries Pretorius), Mrs. K.F. Ackerman (great-granddaughter of Hendrik Potgieter) and Mrs. J.C. Preller (great-granddaughter of Piet Retief).
The Monument was inaugurated on 16 December 1949 by the then-prime minister D. F. Malan. The total construction cost of the Monument was about £ 360,000, most of which was contributed by the South African government.
The Monument is surrounded by a circular wall engraved with wagons—a depiction of the historical Trekker practice of "circling the wagons" during defense under attack.
Outside the wagon wall is an elaborate botanical garden. Small streams running through the garden are labeled with signs representing major rivers of South Africa. Also, miniature huts, 1/8 scale, are scattered about the garden, representing tribal villages

Once a year, at mid-day on 16 December, a ray of the sun shines through an aperture in the dome. A round floor opening in the Hall of Heroes is situated directly above the Cenotaph. The ray of sun shines through the floor opening onto the Cenotaph, projecting a sun disc to illuminate engraved words: "WE FOR YOU SOUTH-AFRICA". These words are oriented towards the sky, and cannot be read by the visitor standing next to the Cenotaph.

Tour Details.

Pick ups: Daily from Johannesburg and Pretoria City.
Duration: 4 to 5 Hours.
Combination Tours: Pretoria Zoo.

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