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Voortrekker Monument

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6km from Pretoria

-25.7753, 28.1758

 

+27 12 326 6770 www.vtm.org.za

About

The Voortrekker Monument is a substantial piece of architecture in an imposing location, with stunning 360-degree views of Pretoria. These are even more impressive if you take the staircase or lift to the very top of the monument.

The monolith is a Pretoria landmark, designed by South African architect Gerhard Moerdyk, to commemorate the movement of pioneers from the Cape to the Transvaal - the Great Trek.

Ringed by 64 granite ox-wagons, the monument is fortress-like from the outside. Inside it has the chilly silence of a crypt with a historical granite frieze depicting the heroics of the trekkers on 27 bas-relief panels. A commemorative plaque is lit by a shaft of sunlight through an opening in the roof precisely on 16 December each year. It reaffirms the pact the Voortrekkers made to dedicate themselves to their country and their Afrikaner culture. On the outside of the monument are five massive statues of Boer leaders, and a sculpture of Boer woman and her two children. These were all created by renowned South African sculptor, Anton von Wouw.

The grounds of the monument are a nature reserve and visitors can walk through the indigenous gardens. Here you will discover an obelisk dedicated to Boer leader Piet Retief, an open-air amphitheatre, and the Afrikaner Heritage Centre.

Though many South Africans consider the Voortrekker Monument a bastion of former white supremacy, it is nonetheless a complex capturing South African history. It is well worth a visit.

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