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tshwane

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One of the oldest and largest cities in South Africa, the City of Tshwane has a rich heritage, immense cultural diversity and a wealth of natural wonders.

Thousands of people visit the city every year to experience its many landmarks, heritage sites and other places of important historical, cultural, architectural and natural significance.

It also has a wealth of accommodation options, restaurants, transport and other premier hospitality offerings to cater for the needs of any tourist looking to explore the riches of the city.

Church Square

Situated in the centre of Tshwane, Church Square is regarded by many as the cradle of the city that ultimately developed into Pretoria. The square was originally a marketplace where farmers gathered with their ox-wagons and tents at the time of "nagmaal" or Holy Communion.

Some of the historical buildings on Church Square, including the Old Raadsaal (council chambers), the Palace of Justice, the Law Chambers, the Old Nederlandsche Bank building and the National Mint Building, are testimony to the prosperity of the old Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR).

The square's current layout was designed by Vivian Rees-Poole in 1912 to imitate London's Trafalgar Square and Paris's Place de la Concorde.

Perhaps the best known feature of Church Square is the large bronze statue of Paul Kruger, president of the former South African Republic (Transvaal), surrounded by the statues of four other Boers. The statue of Kruger was commissioned by Sammy Marks and sculpted by Anton van Wouw. It was cast in Italy near the turn of the century, yet only erected on the square in 1954. The square's main attraction is a weekly one-hour ceremonial parade held every Wednesday between 9.30am and 10.30am.

Address: Church and Paul Kruger Streets, Pretoria

Website: None

More information

Contact: 086 111 2468

Open: 24 hours a day

Freedom Park

This 52-hectare park, located on Salvokop, provides a unique perspective on South African history. The park acknowledges the heroes and heroines of South Africa's past who searched for humanity and freedom from oppression. Uphill climbs and winding roads symbolise the arduous road that South Africans had to travel to reach their destination of humanity and freedom.

Address: Corner Koch and 7th Avenue, Salvokop

Website

Contact: 012 336 4000 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Open: 7 days a week from 8am till 4.30pm

 

Palace of Justice

The Palace of Justice forms part of the northern façade of Church Square. Built at the end of the 19th century, it was designed in the typical Italian Renaissance style by Dutch architect Sytze Wierda. It is the headquarters of the Gauteng Provincial Division of the Supreme Court.

The Palace of Justice was the court which held the Rivonia Trial at which Nelson Mandela delivered his famous speech from the dock before being sentenced, along with seven other members of the African National Congress's (ANC's) leadership, to life imprisonment.

Address: Church and Paul Kruger Streets, Pretoria

Website: None

More information

Contact: 082 895 1139

Union Buildings

Tshwane's most famous landmark is the grand Union Buildings that overlook the city. The Union Buildings are a unique symbol of the authority of the state and the city as the administrative headquarters of the national government. They were the site of the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected head of state, in May 1994, and the place where his body lay in state after his passing away in December 2013.

The Union Buildings now boast a nine-metre high bronze statue of Mandela, which was unveiled by President Jacob Zuma after Mandela's funeral at his birthplace in Qunu in the Eastern Cape. It is the tallest sculpture of Mandela in existence.

Address: Government Avenue, CBD

Website

Contact: 012 300 5200

Open: 24 hours a day

 

Voortrekker Monument

The Voortrekker Monument commemorates the thousands of pioneers of French, Dutch and German descent who left the Cape in 1835 to take part in the Great Trek to South Africa's interior in search of independence and freedom from English colonial rule. It is the most visited heritage site in Gauteng. Tourists can browse the art gallery and even take horse and ox wagon rides in the surrounding nature reserve.

Address: Eeufees Road, Groenkloof

Website

Contact: 012 326 6770

Open: Monday to Sunday 8am till 6pm

 

Cullinan Diamond Mines

The small mining village of Cullinan gained worldwide attention in 1905 with the discovery of the 3,108-carat Cullinan Diamond, the largest uncut diamond ever found. The diamond was cut into several stones and two of the largest of these were given to the British royal family and incorporated in the crown jewels.

Over the years more than 120-million carats have been mined and today the giant open pit mine at Cullinan is four times larger than the famous Big Hole in Kimberley. The Cullinan Mine is still fully operational and currently produces 25% of the world's gem-quality diamonds.

The mine conducts public tours of both the surface and underground operations. Learn how diamonds are extracted from the earth and about the delicate cutting operations done by master diamond cutters.

Address: Seringa Road, Cullinan

Website

Contact: +27 12 734 0081

Open: Monday to Friday 10.30am till 2pm, weekends 10.30am till 12 noon

 

Nan Hua Buddhist Temple

The Nan Hua Buddhist Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere. Building began in October 1992 and eventually cost more than R60-million, which was donated by the large Taiwanese community in South Africa, the land having been donated to the Fo Guang Shan order by the Bronkhorstspruit City Council.

The Chinese Buddhist Centre developed as an educational and cultural complex aimed at engaging with and assisting communities. Prison outreach and charity are some of its projects. The Chinese New Year is celebrated and the temple is open to the public.

A visit to the temple is an aesthetic treat. The large scale of the front gates, the buildings and the steps to the temple are impressive. The elaborate architecture and large statues of Buddha are reminiscent of those seen in temples overseas and, as such, are unexpected in the farmlands of Bronkhorstspruit. On celebration days, like Buddha's birthday, the grounds are festively decorated.

Address: 27 Nan Hua Road, Cultura Park, Bronkhorstspruit

Website

Contact: +27-13-931-0009

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9am till 5pm; closed on Mondays

 

Pretoria Art Museum

This museum has over 3,000 artworks and is the largest collection of South African art. Apart from well-known South African masters, the museum also focuses on contemporary developments in South African art, including rural and urban art, traditional art, and new media and techniques.

Address: Corner of Schoeman and Wessels streets, Arcardia

Website

Contact: 012 358 6750

Open: Tuesday to Sunday 10am till 5pm

Ditsong National Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1892, this museum is a custodian of South Africa's natural heritage. Exhibits include the hominid fossil Mrs Ples, humankind's first relative. There are also skeletons, skins and mounted mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Address: GaMohle Building, 70 WF Nkomo Street, CBD

Website

Contact: 012 000 0010

Open: Mondays to Sundays 8am till 4pm

 

Hindu Mariammen Temple

The Mariammen Temple is the oldest Hindu Temple in Tshwane. Established in 1905, it is dedicated to Mariammen, the Hindu goddess who controls smallpox and other infectious diseases. The temple is located in the city centre at Sixth Street, Asiatic Bazaar (Marabastad).

Address: 6th Street, Asiatic Bazaar, Marabastad

More information

Contact: 012 358 1430

 

SA Mint

The history of the South African Mint dates back to 1892 when Paul Kruger, president of the then South African Republic, ordered a mint press from Germany. The press is still in working order and can be viewed at the Mint's museum.

The Mint's factory was opened in 1992 and is regarded as one of the most modern in the world.

Coin World is the retail outlet and museum at the South African Mint. Krugerrands, jewellery, limited edition medallion watches and other collectors' items are on sale to the public.

The Coin Walk Educational Tour includes of a personalised tour of the museum, educational video and free gift.

Address: Old Johannesburg Road, Gateway, Centurion

Website

Contact: 012 677 2688 

Open: Monday 1pm till 4.30pm, Tuesday to Friday 9am till 4.30pm, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 9am till 3pm