South Africa: Rich Africa Corner I.
This city is political as well as diplomatic and administrative centre of the country, and it is, - de facto - national metropolis of South Africa. In contradistinction to near-by ultramodern, busy and noisy Johannesburg, the city of Pretoria is calm and pleasant locality.
Pretoria has more than one million of inhabitants, most of them are Civil Servants. You can follow there powerful influence of Boer culture, (the Boers, Afrikaans, were the colonists in the area of South Africa, coming from German speaking countries, Netherlands or France), but in the streets, you can hear various mixture of dialects - from south Boto up to Mandarin provincial dialect. The area, where Pretoria is located, was a home of Soto clan. In 1855, Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of Voortrekkers, founded there a base of a town, and named it in honour of his father - Andrew Pretorius, who became, after Boers´ victory over Zulu clan (South African nation), their national hero. Later, in 1860, Pretoria became a capital of Boers´ South African Republic. After its union, the country became Free State and Cape and Natal colonies, and the administrative centre of South Africa at the same time.
During modern history, Pretoria became a symbol of apartheid (it was a policy of race segregation, which was a big problem of South Africa in the course of 20th century), because just in this town, a trial with Nelson Mandela, well-known fighter against apartheid, was effected, finished with his inprisonment for many years. Nevertheless, in 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected as the first directly elected President of South Africa.
Pretoria is a centre of rich cultural life in province. You can find there magnificent museums, monuments, historical buildings and galleries, several wonderful national parks, where a life in wilderness could be watched, and even diamond mines, where you can see the production of real diamonds.
As far as tourist places of interest of Pretoria is concerned, it is, first of all, its city centre - Kerkplats Square with old Town Hall (1899), Cathedral Square with Old Raadaale and Justice Court (1898), Brayntirion Park (where the official South African President´s Residence is situated), State Theatre, Jrueger Museum (in honour of Paul Kruger, the first President of Transvaal and history pf English-Boer War), Monument, dedicated to the first colonists (1949), Klapperekop Citadel (at present, a seat of Military Museum) South African Reserve Bank Building (the highest building in the city), National South African ZOO-Garden, Radcliffe Observatory, Africa Institution, the Academy of Arts and Science of South Africa, Town´s Gallery, Museum of Science and Industry, National Culture Museum, Police Museum, Cort Sternerg Museum, Transvaal Museum of Nature History, Pernif Museum in Open Air, etc.
Next chapter: another facts about Pretoria
Text: Maxim Kucer
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
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