Built to commemorate the Great Trek, the often treacherous journey across the country undertaken by pioneering Boer families who fled British rule in the Cape colony in the mid-19th century. The Voortrekker monument is one of the most visited heritage sites in Tshwane and one of the popular tourist attractions in South Africa.
The 40metre tall granite monument is located on top of a hill overlooking Pretoria in the middle of the 240 hectare Voortrekker Monument Nature Reserve.
At the foot of the monument stands Anton von Wouw’s bronze sculpture of an Afrikaner woman and her two children, a tribute to the female Voortrekkers who made possible the eventual settlement of the Afrikaner community. The monument itself is surrounded by a corral of 64 ox-wagons, the same number as was used at the Battle of Blood River.
Inside the monument is the Hall of Heroes, a vast commemorative hall which retraces the difficult journey that the Voortrekkers embarked upon once their long columns of ox-wagons rolled out of the Cape Colony. The hall houses one of the world’s longest historical marble friezes, where the trials and tribulations of the Great Trek are depicted and is illuminated by four huge windows of yellow Belgian glass.
One floor below is the Cenotaph Hall which houses a tapestry of more than three million stitches, a collection of historical flags and other artefacts belonging to the Voortrekker families and a massive painting by W.H. Coetzer portraying the struggle of the Voortrekkers as they passed through the Drakensberg mountains.