Voortrekker Monument in South Africa

Voortrekker MonumentVoortrekker Monument in South Africa

The Voortrekker Monument is a monument situated in the city of Pretoria, South Africa. The massive granite structure, built to honour the Voortrekkers (Pioneers) who left the Cape Colony in the thousands between 1835 and 1854, was designed by the architect Gerard Moerdijk who had the ideal to design a "monument that would stand a thousand years to describe the history and the meaning of the Great Trek to its descendants". It can be seen from almost any location in the city, as it is seated on a hilltop.

The idea to build a monument in honour of the Voortrekkers was first discussed on 16 December 1888, when President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic attended the Day of the Covenant celebrations at Blood River in Natal. However, the movement to actually build such a monument only started in 1931 when the Sentrale Volksmonumentekomitee (SVK) (Central People's Monuments Committee) was formed to bring this idea to fruition.

Construction started on 13 July 1937 with a sod turning ceremony performed by chairman of the SVK, Advocate Ernest George Jansen, on what later became known as Monument Hill. On 16 December 1938 the cornerstone was laid by three descendants of some of the Voortrekker leaders: Mrs. J.C. Muller (granddaughter of Andries Pretorius), Mrs. K.F. Ackerman (great-granddaughter of Hendrik Potgieter) and Mrs. J.C. Preller (great-granddaughter of Piet Retief).

The Monument was inaugurated on 16 December 1949 by the then-prime minister D. F. Malan. The total construction cost of the Monument was about £ 360,000, most of which was contributed by the South African government.

A large amphitheatre, which seats approximately 20,000 people, was erected to the north-east of the Monument in 1949.Voortrekker Monument is one of the best tourist attractions in South Africa.

Voortrekker Monument

Voortrekker Monument

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