Pretoria was long considered the bastion of Apartheid, but since the arrival of Nelson Mandela the city has become the standard bearer of shared power and forbearance. Large buildings in Victorian style stand harmoniously next to parks and squares decorated with statues and jacaranda. This political capital has been called Tshwane since 2005, which means “we are the same”. However, most people still use the Pretoria name.

Pretoria is also the administrative capital of South Africa. The Volksraad gave its agreement to build a city that would be called Pretoria. This decision was made on December 16, 1855, a date that is considered the date of birth of Pretoria. The name was chosen by Marthinus Wessel Pretorius, as a tribute to his father, Commander-General Andries Pretorius, hero of the Blood River and negotiator with the British. Pretoria became the seat of the government on May 1, 1860.

The ‘Voortrekker Monument’ is located in the city, a huge memorial dedicated to the ‘Boers’. The monument tells the history of the Great Trek. It is the symbol par excellence of the Afrikaner people and its history. Paul Kruger’s home is also located in the center of Pretoria. He lived here during his presidency, from 1883 to 1900. The house, a historical monument, has been transformed into a museum about the life of Kruger and his era. In the heart of the city center, on Church Square, is the statue of Paul Kruger. The square is surrounded by impressive public buildings, such as the ‘Old Raadsaal’ and the Palace of Justice. A famous building in Pretoria is certainly the Union Building, which the English architect Sir Herbert Baker built on a hill between 1910 and 1913 as a government seat. On May 9, 1994 the inauguration of Nelson Mandela took place here. Two identical wings have been built on a hemisphere decorated with columns, flanked on both sides by domed towers. From the 275 m long building, you have a beautiful view of the city. There is a beautiful garden in front of the building and a large statue of Mandela.

Pretoria is sometimes called Jacaranda-City, this is due to the presence of 70,000 Jacaranda trees (rosewood trees) along the streets. If the trees are in (purple) flowering during the month of October, the beauty of the city comes into its own.

Thanks to an excellent tourist infrastructure, Pretoria is also an ideal holiday destination. It also has a vibrant nightlife because of the many students.

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