THE GREAT VOORTREKKER MONUMENT.

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The 40m tall granite monument located on a hill in the 240ha Voortrekker monument and nature reserve also known as Voortrekker heritage site, south of Pretoria. This tremendous building was designed by Gerard Moerdijk as a tribute to commemorate the bravery and perseverance of the Afrikaner Pioneers who embarked north of the Great-Trek between 1835 and 1854 away from the British controlled Cape colony.

This unique cultural and heritage attraction site draws an estimated 200 000 visitors annually, built to commemorate the Voortrekker pioneers and their journey the Great-Trek. Fort Schanskop property of Voortrekker monument and nature reserve is one of four forts which were constructed during the Anglo-Boer war to protect Pretoria from invasion following the Jameson raid in 1896 completed as the first in 1897 by the government of Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, before being declared a national monument in the year 1938.

The Voortrekker museum is stationed in the basement of this monument, along with the shopping outlets where visitors can buy amongst other things gifts and decorating items. The restaurants in the monument tend to serve lighter meals during the week and the traditional buffet preferred on the weekend specifically Sunday. The 20/20 gallery offers and is a place where visitors can hire different artworks for private exhibitions.

This monument is the most visited tourist attraction of its kind in Gauteng. It is home to the hall of heroes that retraces the journey of the Voortrekker from the time they left the Cape colony in their multiple columns of ox-wagons, and buried in the monument is one of the world’s longest marble friezes representing and with the tribulations of the Voortrekker depicted in the art creation. This setting is an ideal venue to host Musicals and theatrical performances with its accommodation of 600 people and equipped with a digital Allen organ.

This unique building has proven its significance by being amongst the top ten most visited tourist attractions in Africa. On the lower grounds of the monument here we find the Cenotaph hall house a arras worth more than three million stitches narrating the story of a child and woman Voortrekker. Also stationed in the hall is a collection of historical flags and objects of historical and cultural significance, this part of the monument accommodates 900 people.

Outside the monument the colourful gardens of this venue are covered with various indigenous plants and amongst these gardens there pathways intentionally positioned there to portray the different Trek routes. Individuals and families or friends can visit the venue and hire the picnic areas for hosting functions, there also braai areas and playing zones for the children who also visit this historic and heritage site. There also well structured and comprehendible trails created for walking, biking and last but not least horse riding.

Within the grounds of Voortrekker monument and nature reserve destination you will also find the Wall of remembrance which was constructed in honour of all the fallen members of the South African National Defence Force. The grounds heritage centre honours Afrikaners for their contribution in the 20th century, a reading room, research centre and library have been conglomerated with the family history library of Salt-lake and Afrikaans Winkel.

During the festive season precisely the 16 December most Afrikaners visit the museum to commemorate the anniversary of the battle of Blood River; this is a battle where the Afrikaners defeated the Zulu’s. The Battle River has since been managed by the Voortrekker monument and nature reserve site. At midday on this historic day for the Afrikaners, a ray of sunshine falls onto the cenotaph in the centre of the cenotaph hall highlighting the inscription “Ons vir jou, Zuid Afrika” meaning (We for you South Africa).

For booking and more info call +27(012) 321 6230/70/71 or www.Voortrekkermon.org.za

Visiting hours.

Mon-Sun.

May 1 – Aug 31:08h00 – 17h00

Sep 1 – Apr 30:08h00 – 18h00

Admission.

Adults: R40 per person, School groups: R20 per student, Children under 18: R20, Families: R100, Cars and Motor bikes: R20, Mini buses R22, Buses: R50, Bicycles and Hikers: R20, Friends of VTM enter free on presentation of membership card, Picnic Area: R5 per person, Pensioners: R20, Heritage levy: R5.

By: M.D.B

 

Edited By: M.D.B

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