29 May 2013

The Voortrekker Monument

The Voortrekker Monument is located just south of Pretoria in South Africa. This massive granite structure is prominently located on a hilltop, and was raised to commemorate the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854.
On 8 July 2011 the Voortrekker Monument, designed by the architect Gerard Moerdijk, was declared a National Heritage Site by the South African Heritage Resource Agency.

The monument is square at 40m x 40m as well as 40m high. On a recent visit there I was surprised to find that a lift had replaced the stairs to the top in the one corner. 

The main staircase up to the monument

Surrounding walls - consisting of 64 ox-wagons made out of decorative granite. The same number of wagons were used at the Battle of Blood River to form the laager.

On each outside corner of the Monument there is a statue, respectively representing Piet Retief, Andries Pretorius, Hendrik Potgieter and an "unknown" leader (representative of all the other Voortrekker leaders). Each statue weighs approximately 6 tons.

The path around the top of the monument

Looking down onto the Cenotaph

The narrow stairway to the top