Pretoria, South Africa

By | July 30, 2022

According to allpubliclibraries, Pretoria is the administrative and cultural-historical capital of South Africa, which plays an important role in the life of the country. Pretoria is located 60 km from Johannesburg on the banks of the Tswane River in an area with a subtropical climate, on the descending steps of a mountain plateau.

The history of the city dates back to 1837, when the driller Andries Pretorius decided to build his farm in those places, at an altitude of 1370 m. At first he lived there alone, but over time the settlement grew. Andries Pretorius named his farm Grootplatz (Grootplaats) – Wide Yard, but after his death, the inhabitants of the village he founded decided to perpetuate his memory and renamed the settlement in his honor – Pretoria.

The city boasts several glorious historical sites at once, including Kruger House – the residence of the first president Paul Kruger and the Voortreker monument. In addition, the largest number of museums is located in Pretoria – this is the Cultural and Historical Museum, the Art Museum, the Museum of Nature and others. For lovers of classical music, we recommend visiting the State Theater Complex, which consists of five halls – the hall of classical music, ballet, symphony concerts, opera and theater.

Attractions– Most often, tourists arrive in South Africa through Johannesburg, so getting to know Pretoria takes place after this city. Getting to Pretoria is easy, trains from Johannesburg leave every half an hour on weekdays, and every one and a half hours on weekends. When approaching the city, be sure to pay attention to the huge granite monument – the monument in honor of the Great Exodus (Voortrekker Monument). It was erected in honor of the Great Trek of 1835 – the exodus of Boer farmers from the Cape to the north. The monument is also a symbolic tomb with the remains of the Boers who died in the battle with the Zulu tribes on the Blood River (Blood river), the victory in which allowed the farmers to live in these places. The monument stands on a hill, and on the way to it you can enjoy magnificent views of Pretoria.

In Pretoria itself, we recommend visiting the Museum of the Hero of South Africa – the President of the Boer Republic of the Transvaal, Paulus Kruger, who led the resistance to the British troops during the Anglo-Boer War. The museum contains his belongings, medals, as well as exhibits dedicated to the Anglo-Boer War, for example, an English machine gun – this weapon was first used during the Anglo-Boer War. The museum is located in the historical center, not far from Church Square. Here is the building of the old post office, the Palace of Justice (1898), a monument to Kruger. Not far from the center, in the ancient Bryntirion Park, about 2 km from Church Square, is the official residence of the President of South Africa. Government offices are located in another notable building – Union Buildings (Union Buildings), built in 1910. It is famous for which is the largest administrative building in the world. Two 55-meter towers were built along its edges, connected by a semicircular antique colonnade. It was from this building that on May 10, 1994, Nelson Mandela, who had just become president, addressed the people of the country with his first speech. Opposite the Union Buildings stands a monument to Louis Botha, the first prime minister of the independent Union of South Africa. But the Union Buildings, being the largest administrative building in the world, is not the tallest in Pretoria. Not far from it, between Church, Prinsloo and Vermeulen streets, stands the tallest building in Pretoria – the building of the South African Reserve Bank, almost next to the building of the main theater of the country – the State Theater, the stage of which has seen many theatrical celebrities

Wine Valleys. Half an hour from Pretoria is the Museum of Agriculture. This is not just an exhibition of exhibits, the museum has several other functions, in particular, there you can try “Mampoer” (Mampoer) – fruit vodka, which during the “dry law” was driven out in large quantities by farmers. “Mumpoer” – the cult drink of the Boers, much like whiskey for the Scots, even an annual festival is held in his honor.

If you drive a little further, you can reach the famous Transvaal vineyards. All the most famous wines in the world are produced there. They are not as expensive as the French ones, but they are of very high quality – some South African wines have already won blind tastings in Paris.

Pretoria, South Africa