Pretoria is one of the country’s cultural hot spots and has much to offer to anyone interested in the country’s history and local traditions. With attractions, such as the Voortrekker Monument. Pretoria has a fascinating museum to cater to everyone’s interests.
Voortrekker Monument, Museum and Heritage Center
Monument commemorates the history of the Afrikaner people and is one of the most visited heritage sites in South Africa. It features a unique architectural design that allows the sun to shine through an opening in the dome once a year (on 16 December) to illuminate the patriotic words carved into the cenotaph, the symbolic grave of all the pioneers who died during the Great Trek.
The museum contains an impressive display of Voortrekker memorabilia, while the Heritage Center consists of interactive exhibitions that aim to objectively explain the role and contributions of the Afrikaner people to South Africa.More Info
Freedom Park Museum
On a hill overlooking the city, the Freedom Park memorial honours the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom and celebrates the diversity of the South African people. The park comprises of a series of sites, linked by a spiral pathway, that explores culture, heritage, history, indigenous knowledge, and spirituality through African architecture, landscaping and sculpture. The museum itself tells an interactive story of Africa, starting millions of years ago with African legends, and winds its way through history to include the eras of colonisation, industrialisation, nationalism and finally democracy.
The third fort to be constructed for the protection of Pretoria before the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), Fort Klapperkop has been restored to its original state to showcase these 19th century defensive fortifications. The museum displays military memorabilia, rifles and furniture from the period, while an old steam locomotive and Pretoria’s last tram is also situated on the grounds. The magnificent hilltop view make this the perfect picnic spot, while the rough terrain is a favourite of hikers and mountain bikers alike.
Pretoria Art Museum
The Pretoria Art Museum focuses on collecting and displaying South African art and currently has over 3,000 pieces on display. The collection houses art from such well-known artists as Pierneef, Frans Oerder, Anton van Wouw and Irma Stern, while the growing contemporary collections features work by Sam Nhlengethwa, Walter Oltmann, Lucas Sithole and Judith Mason. The museum also hosts regular temporary exhibitions by both local and international artists and guided tours of the collection can be arranged upon request.
Kruger House Museum
Built in 1884, Kruger House was the original home of Paul Kruger, third president of the Republic of South Africa. This Victorian-style house situated not far from Church Square was one of the first in the city to use electricity, as well as the first to have a telephone installed. It has been refurbished to reflect the period in which “Oom Paul” and his second wife Gezina lived there from 1883-1901, before he was exiled to Europe.