The massive Voortrekker Monument, in Pretoria
, was built in honour of the Voortrekkers (Pioneers) who left the Cape Colony in their thousands between 1835 and 1854.
The architect was Gerard Moerdijk and it was his ideal to design a "monument that would stand a thousand years to describe the history and the meaning of the Great Trek to its descendants."
The Voortrekker Monument is smaller than the Hotel de Invalides in Paris, the grave of Napoleon, much smaller than the Taj Mahal in India and just an eleventh of the size of the Völkerschlachtdenkmal in Leipzig.
In comparison with those buildings, the Voortrekker Monument is definitely not the biggest monument in the world, however the architect purposefully tried to build a massive, impressive monument.
Two elements make the monument a site worth visiting: the Historical Frieze and the Cenotaph Hall.
The unique marble Frieze is an intrinsic part of the design - in bas-relief 27 panels depict the story of the Great Trek from 1835 to 1852. The Frieze does not only show the history of the Great Trek, but also depicts every day life, work methods, religious beliefs and the way of life of the Voortrekkers.
The central focus point of the Monument is the Cenotaph. On top of the Hall of Heroes' is an arch from where one can view the interior of the Monument.
It is through an opening in the arch that the sun shines at twelve o'clock on 16 December each year onto the middle of the Cenotaph and the words, 'We for thee, South Africa'. The ray of sunshine symbolises God's blessing on the lives and endeavours of the Voortrekker
A ‘laager’ of 64 granite ox-wagons surrounds the main block of the Monument and at the entrance stands a bronze sculpture of a Voortrekker mother and her children created by Anton van Wouw. This was also the last major work by the sculptor.
The gardens surrounding the Monument include many indigenous plants.
A restaurant is situated in the peaceful nature reserve of the Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site. Centrally located near all main routes to Pretoria.
Luxuriously furnished, ample parking, quiet area, professional catering are a few of the many features.Address
Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site, Eeufees Road, Groenkloof, Pretoria
Telephone: (012) 326 6770/ 325 7885
Open: DailyOther Museums
Other Pretoria Museums
, Monuments & Landmarks
provide a glimpse of the rich history and culture of the city and South Africa.Where to StayAccommodation in Greater Tswane-Pretoria Area
are found in the cities of:
with suburbs such as Arcadia
and Silver Lakes
with suburbs such as Centurion Central