If it wasn’t for the Voortrekkers, most of South Africa’s towns and cities, including Pretoria, would not exist. The Voortrekker Monument Pretoria stands as a memorial to these brave Voortrekkers.
The Voortrekkers, or pioneers, were mainly Dutch settlers who were dissatisfied under the British rule of the Cape Colony. From 1835 many of them started a journey inland by ox-wagon which is now known as the Great Trek. The Voortrekker Monument outside Pretoria stands as a memorial to these brave pioneers.
The Voortrekker Monument is a colossal granite structure, some 40 metres tall, which dominates a hill just South of Pretoria. The monument was designed by Gerard Moerdijk, and is rich in symbolism. From the time you enter the wrought iron gates which resemble assegais (traditional African spear) until you arrive in the Hall of Heroes, you come across an outer wall carved with 64 ox-wagons, a statue of a woman with her children, surrounded by 4 wildebeest and four large statues guarding each corner of the building. All of these decorative features serve as reminders of the life and struggles the Voortrekkers went through.
A must see on any visit to Pretoria, the Voortrekker Monument is a monumental granite structure, with access to the roof (via a lift) where one can see for many kilometers in all directions. The view of the City of Tshwane below is magnificent, particularly on a clear day.
In the distance, over the CBD, one can see the Union Buildings, the seat of the South African Government. These 2 buildings were specifically located so that each can be seen from the other. In fact there is a by-law in place down to this day that forbids any structure to be build too high, that it may not obstruct the line of sight between these two structures.