12 interesting facts about Pretoria


12 interesting facts about Pretoria
Pretoria is the uncut pearl of the Republic of South Africa. Today, Pretoria is one of the capitals of the country, apart from Kaapstad and Bloemfontein.

  1. Pretoria is popularly called “Jakaranda” because of the thousands of trees that bloom lavishly in the spring on that soil and climate. The flower is mostly dirty pink in color. In Australia, this flower blooms at the same time but with blue flowers. In Australia, jacaranda songs are sung: “When the jacaranda begins to bloom, then Christmas is approaching…”.
  2. Pretoria was named after Andre Pretoria (one of the leaders of the Boer-white pioneers who arrived on African soil from Europe in the 17th century). The newcomers were Protestants of the Calvinist sect. They soon became Afrikaners who enriched their mother tongue with a local dialect. At the end of 2005, the new government decided to give the city a new name, “Tshwane”. The Ministry of Culture and Arts resisted the new name for a long time. The so-called “Solomon solution” was found, the name Pretoria remains, but so does Tshwane, which designates the city municipality.
  3. Every year on December 16, a lot of people gather on the left slope of Pretoria. On that day, the wonderful monument to the Voortrekker is occupied by Afrikaners who are celebrating a unique celebration of their distant ancestors. The monument to the Voortrekker is the work and building pride of architect Gerarda Moerdijik. The old and young descendants of the Boers were specially trained for the occasion. They are pressed inside the grandiose monument to attend an unusual event. The event is a kind of astrological miracle that is worth seeing and experiencing. The fortress-monument to the Voortrekker , whose successors became the main pillars of apartheid (the infamous regime that fueled the fire of racial discrimination and firmly held white supremacy for more than 40 years). The massive Voortrekker  icon took 11 years to build. The foundation stone was laid on December 16, 1938. The memorial home for Germans, French and Dutch (merged in the form of a white Afrikaans) is decorated with a huge panoramic mural. Barljef depicts the historic Battle of Blood River, the place where the Voortrekker defeated the black warriors from the Zulu tribe under the leadership of King Dingo.
  4. The hands of the clock stop at 12. At that moment, a ray of sunlight appears, which through the opening of the attic falls with mathematical precision exactly on the inscription of the sarcophagus (marked as the eternal place of Piet Retief and all Afrikans or Furtrekers who perished in the long journey to find their final abode). The sarcophagus is in the central part of the last level of the monument, illuminating large letters “For You Afrika”. These 3 words are taken from the national anthem. They have long been a symbol of God’s blessing on the life, aspirations and hopes of the offspring of the oldest white inhabitants of the country in the extreme south of Africa.
  5. Back in 2010, Pretoria played a major role outside the country’s borders. Pretoria was then one of the hosts of the World Cup in football. Since then, Pretoria (a small city about 50 km north of Johannesburg) has been mentioned more and more in the press and other media. The famous Loftus Versfeld stadium was then expanded and arranged for 50,000 visitors. The stadium, in addition to 9 others in South Africa, was the scene of the main football matches of the world’s best teams in the most important side event in the world.
  6. Pretoria is an important city in the Republic of South Africa. It is the administrative seat of the country of over 50 million inhabitants of various races, religions, traditions and cultures.
  7. The massive 41-meter-high monument is surrounded by 64 replica wagons from the era of the famous caravan movement on the neighboring hill. Opposite the monument is the Union building, Sir Herbert Baker’s favorite architectural building. This magnificent architectural edifice and significance was further magnified by the act of inauguration of the irresistible Nelson Mandela in 1994. Nelson Mandela is the first elected black president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
  8. Union building is the seat of the government and the presidential office. The building can be visited by members of a foreign delegation or journalists if a press conference is held there. The exterior of the Union building is much more interesting than the interior.
  9. It is summer in Pretoria in December, unlike many cities in the world. The whole city is then painted pink with a canopy of blossoming jacarandas. The pink color of the jacaranda crowns is intrusive but completely natural and fits perfectly with the flowery and crimson green gardens of the vibrant urban center of the city.
  10. Tourist tours of the city usually start from Church Square or from the Heart of Pretoria. City tours are a kind of lobby for visits to other attractive destinations in the country (Sun and Lost City, Krueger Natonal Park, Johanesbourg, etc.). The space is dominated by a tall statue of Boer leader and first white president Paul Krueger. Paul Krueger is guarded at the foot of the statue by 4 soldiers of that time. From this place, some of the famous buildings spread out in the surrounding streets. The streets are full of restaurants and shops with all kinds of goods and products. Notable old buildings include the House of Justice, the Government House, the City Theatre, the Old City Chamber, the Tudor Chamber, the John Cleland-designed General Post Office. The building of justice is without a doubt the most attractive for painting. In the Justice Building the famous Rivonja process (for the historical annals of South Africa) was once held. Nelson Mandela and several other freedom fighters were sentenced to a long prison term here (for treason against the then state).
  11. Modern urbanist Pretoria does not renounce its past. The memorial house of the former president Paul Krueger is kept with special care.
  12. An interesting fact is that you would have to visit as many as 48 interesting places (according to tourist manuals) in order to capture the spirit and rhythm of this relatively peaceful South African city in a relatively short time. Among these places is the Zoological Garden opened in 1899 in this city of beautiful jacaranda flowers and gardens. Pretoria Zoo is on the list of the 10 most beautiful in the world.







    • Dear Sushmita,

      Many thanks for your compliments and comment. I still like the official song of the 2010 World Football Championship/ Competition which led me to other mainly historical researches. Wish you all the best. Amela


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