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Voortrekker Monument

Voortrekker Monument
Voortrekker Monument.jpg
The Monument from the front
Coordinates 25°46′35″S 28°10′33″E / 25.77639°S 28.17583°E / -25.77639; 28.17583Coordinates: 25°46′35″S 28°10′33″E / 25.77639°S 28.17583°E / -25.77639; 28.17583
Location Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Designer Gerard Moerdijk
Material Granite
Length 40 metres (130 ft)
Width 40 metres (130 ft)
Height 40 metres (130 ft)
Beginning date 1937-07-13
Opening date 1949-12-16
Dedicated to Voortrekkers

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 idea to build a monument in honour of God was first discussed on 16 December 1888, when President Paul Kruger of the South African Republic attended the Day of the Covenant celebrations at Blood River in Natal. However, the movement to actually build such a monument only started in 1931 when the Sentrale Volksmonumentekomitee (SVK) (Central People's Monuments Committee) was formed to bring this idea to fruition.

Construction started on 13 July 1937 with a sod turning ceremony performed by chairman of the SVK, Advocate Ernest George Jansen, on what later became known as Monument Hill. On 16 December 1938 the cornerstone was laid by three descendants of some of the Voortrekker leaders: Mrs. J.C. Muller (granddaughter of Andries Pretorius), Mrs. K.F. Ackerman (great-granddaughter of Hendrik Potgieter) and Mrs. J.C. Preller (great-granddaughter of Piet Retief).

The Monument was inaugurated on 16 December 1949 by the then-prime minister D. F. Malan. The total construction cost of the Monument was about £ 360,000, most of which was contributed by the South African government.


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