The Union Building
Sitting on the very top of Pretoria is the parliament’s building. This historical building started construction in 1909 and took approximately 1265 craftsmen to complete. Since it was built to house the entirety of the Union’s Public Service division, at the time it was the largest building in South Africa. Lord Selborne, who was the British high commissioner at the time said: “People will come from all over the world to wonder at the beauty of the site and to admire the forethought and courage of the men who selected it”. Today the building is not only known for its rich history, but also for its beautiful and lavish gardens, as well as the nine metre bronze Nelson Mandela statue.
Melrose House Museum
Originally owned by George Heys and built in 1886, this historical house played an important role during the Anglo-Boer War. The name for the house was inspired by the Melrose Abbey in Scotland – a place visited by Heys and his wife during their honeymoon. During the Anglo-Boer War, in June 1900, Melrose House became the British War Offices. In 1902, the Peace Treaty of Vereeniging was signed here as well. The house stayed in the Heys family until 1968, when it was bought by the Pretoria city council, who made is a museum.
Rugby is one of the things that unites our country. Loftus Versveld is the home of rugby and the Blue Bulls, the Pretorian rugby team, and you’re sure to see not only a powerful match, but also meet some colourful characters while visiting this tourist attraction.
The Voortrekker Monument is the most visited heritage site of its kind. This monument, situated in a nature reserve, commemorates the pioneer history of South Africa. The Monument was designed by Gerhard Moerdijk and was inaugurated in 1949. With its unique location, the Monument is a place for mountain biking, horse rides and formal functions. The Monument grounds and amphitheatre are often used for events, such as the annual Capital Craft festival as well as the infamous Park Acoustics.
For farm fresh produce, visit the Pretoria Boeremark in Silverton. This market runs on a Saturday morning from 05:00 to 09:30 and offers traditional delicacies, including vetkoek, pannekoek and melkkos. Come watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee and pannekoek in hand and start your Saturday the boere way.
Pretoria National Botanical Gardens
The Pretoria National Botanical Gardens is home to numerous species of birds and botany. These gardens also has an amphitheatre for concerts and festivals and hosts the weekly Parkrun in Pretoria East. Visit the gardens on the first Saturday of the month (after your weekly Parkrun) for the Banting Market, filled with goodies without the guilt. The Pretoria National Botanical Gardens is a beautiful spot to have a picnic with loved ones and friends in the shade of the giant trees.
Do you know of any other must-see tourist attractions? Let us know in the comments section below.
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