Church Square, PretoriaEnquire Now
+27 358 1430, +27 358 1135 www.tshwane.gov.za
Church Square is a Pretoria landmark, considered to be the heart of the city, and worth a visit for its historic buildings and shady green lawns.
It was named Church Square because farmers, amongst others, used to gather in the former marketplace to hold Holy Communion. Several superb examples of 19th- and 20th-century architecture can be seen on its perimeter.
A bronze statue of Paul Kruger, the former president of the old Transvaal Republic, sculpted by artist Anton van Wouw, presides over Church Square. Most of the historic buildings around the square were constructed between 1887/8 and 1910. On the northern side, the Renaissance-style Palace of Justice is where Nelson Mandela and other prominent ANC revolutionaries were tried and sentenced for treason during the infamous Rivonia trial.
On the southern side, Die Ou Raadsaal (Old Council Building) is over 100 years old. Other notable buildings include the Capitol Theatre, the General Post Office, the Netherlands Bank, the Centenary Building and the Tudor Chambers.
If you’re keen to learn more about the individual buildings, hire a local tour guide to show you around. Add a little pomp and ceremony to your Church Square experience and go and watch the National Ceremonial Guard on parade every Wednesday morning, between 9:30pm and 10:30pm.
Address: Church and Paul Kruger streets, Pretoria