I don’t think I will ever get bored of visiting the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. The architecture and murals absolutely fascinate me.
When you walk up the stairs and the monument peeks over the top step you start realising just how huge it is. Then you get to the Koeksuster sculpture and the whole monument just looms like a big block in the middle of a pedestal.
Standing out right in the front is the statue that pays homage to the Voortrekker women. She has children at her skirt. Her face is generic, but beautiful, you can almost see her kappie move in the wind and hear her skirt ruffle.
You make your way up the stairs and try to look at the top but half bend over too far and feel dizzy. The sun just pelts down and wraps its arms around the top. So beautiful, so strong…
…and then you walk in under the buffalo guarding the front door. You don’t expect to see white marble and a big open space in a building that stands so firm and strong. You are immediately drawn to the circle in the middle to look down at the cenotaph and then up at the skylight that will only fall on “Ons vir jou Suid-Africa” on the 16th of December.
You don’t have to be an Afrikaner to feel the goosebumps. Its enough to just be an African that loves Africa to feel proud and patriotic of this small country at the tip of Africa.
Then you just have to take the time to look at the carved marble story on the walls. The expressions so vivid. A story that tells of a people that left the relative safety of the Cape of Good Hope with ox wagons and their families in tow. There is drama, tragedy and more. It’s a story of courage, heartbreak and eventually unity.
Next you go up a floor. Here you have views over Pretoria. This is also one my favourite spots to take a photo under the arches. Sometimes you just have to wait until the other visitors are out of the way to get the perfect shot.
The most beautiful view point awaits you yet another floor up. This you can only access via stairs, but the view is spectacular! You get to stand 3 floors above the cenotaph. I don’t like heights and by the time I get up there my hands are shaking and I feel dizzy – and then I stick my hand over the barrier to take a photo. I have never actually had my head over that open circle that looks into a “deep abyss”…
Finally make your way to the floor the cenotaph is on. They usually have an exhibition, some family bibles and donated items on display. It is also worth looking at the tapestry.
Lastly visit the museum. There are so many items to look at and it is really interesting to see the old clothes and buttons, lace and more.
[Totally unrelated clue for something happening here… Globetrotter]
…and as you leave behind the monument you can read the “Die Gelofte” in one of three languages. It is a promise that is still kept by the descendants of the Voortrekkers.
…and a final view of the Voortrekker Monument…
Still not had enough of the Voortrekker Monument? Well, good news… I have another article you can read.
A fantastic monument that really captures that grandiose feeling that a monument should have. Wonderful photos as always!
Thank you so much Craig!