Fact flash: the Voortrekker Monument

This 43-meter high granite monument was inaugurated in 1949. It commemorates the pioneers, called the Voortrekkers, who moved into the interior of South Africa between 1834 and 1854 in search of freedom and self-government. It is the only Afrikaner monument declared to be a Grade 1 National Heritage Site after 1994.

The site combines elements of security, hospitality and exceptional views with unique architecture. The Monument was designed by architect Gerard Moerdijk. The Hall of Heroes contains 27 breathtaking marble frieze panels depicting the story of the Great Trek.

It is carved from Italian marble and is probably the world’s longest continuous marble frieze. The panels were made by four South African sculptors: Laurika Postma, Hennie Potgieter, Frikkie Kruger and Werner Kirchhoff.

In the cupola there is an opening (oculus) through which the sun shines on the Cenotaph every year on 16 December exactly at 12:00 on the words ‘Ons vir jou Suid-Afrika’ (We for Thee, South Africa). More than 400 000 people around the world viewed this phenomenon on Media24’s web page on 16 December 2016.

The monument is situated in a nature reserve with a variety of wildlife. We are very fortunate to have five black wildebeest on the site. The 2,7-meter high laager wall surrounding the Monument consists of 64 wagons that symbolically protect the Monument. Nowadays, something is being offered to everyone on the site. There are regular markets throughout the year, an extremely popular military festival and live music performances. There walking, jogging and cycling routes and horse riding, as well as braai facilities in the picnic area.

The Monument does not receive financial support from the authorities and is privately owned. Support it and help to conserve it for the future.

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