Sunday, 17 April 2011

Pretoria, Voortrekker Monument, South Africa

Pretoria located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive (administrative) and de facto national capital.
The Union Buildings, seat of South Africa's government.This beautiful historical building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker which has now become a popular place to visit for tourists. 
View from the Union Buildings. 

National Botanical Gardens in Pretoria
A beautiful view from the Union Buildings, you can see a glimpse of the Botanical Garden from here.
Statue of Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius, stands in front of the Union Buildings.
Statue of Paul Kruger on Church Square
Pretoria is also known as the Jacaranda City for all the purple blossom-bedecked trees, which line its thoroughfares. A lovely city with picturesque garden suburbs and embassies.
The Voortrekker Monument is in the city of Pretoria, South Africa. 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". This 40 meters monument can be seen from almost any location in the city, as it is seated on a hilltop.
Both within and around the monument, every aspect of the building has a historic or symbolic significance.

A unique marble Frieze circles the inside walls of the Voortrekker Monument. In bas-relief, 27 panels depict the story of the Great Trek from 1835 to 1852. The Frieze not only shows the history of the Great Trek, but also shows how the Voortrekkers went about their every day lives. It also provides an insight on their religious beliefs and work methods of the Voortrekkers and historic wars, such as the Battle of Bloodriver.
Inside the Voortrekker Monument. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments, but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races. The 1990s brought an end to apartheid politically and ushered in black majority rule.
One of the most interesting features of the monument is the 260-step stairway which leads to the dome, and the spectacular view it offers of the city.

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