Church Square, Pretoria

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  • Palace of Justice, Church Square, Pretoria
    Palace of Justice, Church Square,...
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Church Square, Pretoria
    Church Square, Pretoria
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Church Square, Pretoria
    Church Square, Pretoria
    by CatherineReichardt
  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Church Square: feel the ambience of a past age

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Dec 19, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Palace of Justice, Church Square, Pretoria
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    Church Square is one of the few places in the Pretoria CBD where you can get a sense of how Pretoria must have looked a century ago, and, as a result, is often used as a set for local period movies and TV series.

    The Square is surrounded by important civic buildings, including the Palace of Justice, the General Post Office, the Old Council Chamber and the Old Capitol Theatre and its importance was underlined by the erection of a statue commemorating the iconic President Paul Kruger.

    Church Square has seen some turbulent events over the years. The Palace of Justice (see photo) was the location for the Rivonia treason trial, in which Nelson Mandela and other notable figures in the liberation struggle (including Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki - father to former President Thabo Mbeki who succeeded Mandela as South Africa's second democratically elected president) were sentenced to lifetime imprisonment on Robben Island.

    Today Church Square is a bustling green enclave in dilapidated and unlovely downtown Pretoria. There are hawkers selling snacks such as peanuts and fruit, and provided that you are sensible and haven't brought your valuables with you, it would make a good spot to catch your breath and imagine how Pretoria must have looked in its heyday.

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  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Church Square : The Buildings

    by PierreZA Updated Jul 28, 2008

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    Many interesting buildings are built around the square.
    At the square, you will find information as to which buildings are which.(see photo)
    The supreme court is of note, not just for its beauty, but also the fact that this is the court where Nelson Mandela (the Rivonia Trial) was sentenced.
    The old Post Office, First National Bank, Law Chambers and others can be found here.

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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Church Square : History

    by PierreZA Updated Jul 28, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Church Square

    Church square can be considered as the centre where Pretoria had its beginning. At the centre of the square is Paul Kruger, a former president of the old ZAR.
    The first church on the square was built in 1856. The church was struck by lightning, the thatched roof caught fire and burnt down.
    Several beautiful buildings are built around the square.
    The square was an important place for matters of the state, eg inorgurations etc.
    See tip on the buildings around the square.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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  • Orchid's Profile Photo

    Paul Kruger statue, Church Square

    by Orchid Written Oct 28, 2007
    Paul Kruger
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    Paul Kruger, now commemmorated by (amongst other things) Kruger National Park and the gold krugerrand, was a prominent Boer resistance leader, and 4 time president of the Transvaal Republic.

    The statue which now stands in Church Square, depicting Kruger in his top hat & frock coat, was commissioned in the late 19th century, but not installed in Church Square until 1954

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    • Historical Travel

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  • Orchid's Profile Photo

    Church Square

    by Orchid Written Oct 28, 2007
    Church Square
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    Church Square is at the heart of Pretoria. Martinthus Pretorius reservrd the area in 1855, intending it to be used for markets and churches. It has also been used a sporting arena.
    Many historic buildings line its four sides, including Palace of Justice, the Old Capitol Theatre, the Tudor Chambers, the Ou Raadsaal (Old Council Chamber) and the General Post Office.

    In pride of place is a bronze statue of Paul Kruger, resplendent in top hat, and guarded by anonymous boar citizen-soldiers, bearing arms.

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  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo

    Church Square - the beginnings

    by kenHuocj Written Dec 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    looking SW
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    where Church and Paul Kruger streets interesect

    in the middle is Paul Kruger, the president of the Zuid Afrikkansche Republiek,
    before it with the other 3 provinces became the Union of South Africa in 1910 [?]
    Oom Paul as he is fondly known by most,
    used to live in a small house 3 blocks west c/o Potgieter

    The Raadsaal [ Legislature] of the ZAR in on the SW corner ( Paul Kruger W]
    opposite it is the Capitol Cinema, sadly the artistic items were sold off
    the the City Tourism Building, once the Art Gallery,
    Cafe Riche on Church St is WS and above it the Gaming Board.

    WN is the General Post Office, and further north is the Old Bank Buildling
    Oom Paul on his pedestal looks north
    The Supreme Court is NW, on Paul Kruger
    across is the old Reserve Bank,

    looking East on the N of Church St, which used to be the main commercial st
    is First National Bank, formerly Barclays Bank DCO before the anti apartheid pressures
    Tudor Buidling in ES. architecturally intesring with minor shops and offices

    then Sanlam and Standard Bank are the ES corner

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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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  • xinxin's Profile Photo

    The Church Square

    by xinxin Written Apr 3, 2004
    The Church Square

    The square is surrounded on all sides by some impressive buildings, like old Raadsaal (parliament), the Capitol Theatre, and the Netherlands Bank Building ( now the tourist information office).

    The Café Riche , on the corner of Church Stree, has really good coffe, and you can buy a booklet or rent a cassette player explaining the history and architecture of the square.

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  • Deefstes's Profile Photo

    Church Square

    by Deefstes Written Oct 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Moonlight statue of Paul Kruger on Church Square

    In the middle of Pretoria is Church Square. This is the oldest part of Pretoria with rather unique (and beautiful) buildings and the statue of Paul Kruger on the square.

    Unfortunately this part of Pretoria is a bit run down nowadays but it's still rather nice to visit. Next to the square there's a coffee shop / bar named Cafe Riche wich is a well worth a visit.

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  • CharleneP's Profile Photo

    CHURCH SQUARE

    by CharleneP Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    That is not really a MUST SEE, but if you're in town and like old buildings and history you can have a look at Church Square. It is in the heart of the city around which the first settlements developed. Church Street runs through the square. In the middle of the square is the President Kruger statue.

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Church Square

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 27, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Church Square
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    Church Square is the old heart of the city government and the city center. It is also the best place to see the old Colonial architecture of the city

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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