Pretoria CBD

Pretoria CBD

The Pretoria CBD is filled with heritage. The church square is surrounded with old Colonial buildings with differing architectural styles, including the Flemish influence introduced by the Dutch Settlers.

On the perimeter of the CBd are many grand old residences like Melrose House Museum, built in 1886,  by the Hey family who lived there well into the 1950’s. A view over the CBD from Fort Klapperkop gives an indication of the diversity of the city centre.

The centre piece of the square is the statue of Paul Kruger (4.5m high) on an elevated plynth and ‘protected’ by four bronze Boer soldiers (2.22m high), two in the dress of the 1838 Voortrekkers and two wearing typical uniforms of the Anglo Boer War. The monument was moved on several occaisions, firstly at Prince Street, the Pretoria Station and then to Church Square, where it was unveiled by President Daniel Francois malan in 1956 It was commissioned and first sculpted in 1896 with the work commissioned to Anton Van Wouw and largely funded by Samuel Marks. Much of the work was done in Italy and France and sulptures at various times the unfinished works ending up in UK (Kitchener) and Lourenco Marques during the Boer War. Bronze was the medium for the statue (92%copper and 8% tin). In addition were four panels representing the peace accord signed at O’Niel’s cottage at the foot of Majuba, scenes from the Battle of makapansgat, Kruger delivering the Pardekraal Covenent and Paul Kruger’s swearing-in ceremony as President of the Transvaal Republic in 1883.

Sadly this monument was desecrated by hoolagan members of the EFF in 2015, and is now enclosed, but is well visible.