The Union Building, Pretoria

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    by Paulm1987
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    Union Buildings

    by Paulm1987 Written Feb 20, 2014

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    The Union Buildings forms the Official seat of South African Government and houses the Presidency as well as Department of Foreign Affairs.

    It was build between 1909 and 1913,Originally build to house the entire Public service for the Union of South Africa,It was then the largest building in the country. Many tourists visit this place everyday.

    Surrounded by beautiful gardens it's a quite peaceful place and the view of Pretoria from the Union building is quite awesome.

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    The Union Buildings, offices...

    by kenHuocj Updated Nov 16, 2010

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    The Union Buildings, offices of the State President and Minister of Foreign Affairs
    After the Boer wars, South Africa in 1910 united under British hegemony to become the Union of South Africa. ( Mahlamba-Ndlopfu is further east, but hidden behind security gates and guards.)

    ===Cecil John Rhodes appointed Sir Herbert Baker (1868-1942)&L* , the English architect to design the Union buildings - administrative offices for the new government. The styles used for the light coloured sandstone building, 275 meteres wide, is a fusion style of Cape Dutch, English Art and Crafts, and the Baroque styles of Wren and Hawksmoot.

    ===The buidling is sited on a steep hillside above Pretoria, a great garden tumbling down in terraces to the cities residential suburbs.

    ===This elegant building comprises two stone faced blocks, capped with Wren like domed towers, punctuated by courtyards, linked together by a Baroque arcade.

    ===Some commentators have found the central arcade a weakness in the design, yet Baker's elegant reticence speaks of a quietly confident system of government.

    ===South Africa House in Trafalgar Square is also designed by Herbert Baker

    [some the above quote is from Johnathan Glancy's 20th Century Architecture

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Union buildings

    by mvtouring Written Aug 24, 2009

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    I cannot help but look at this building with so much pride. For many of us South Africans the Union Building is the most beautiful government residence in the world. Sir Herbert Baker was the architect of this 275 m long building and had it built in the English monumental style from light sandstone. It does indeed look majestic and lends a solemn environment to the official acts of the respective President. The Union Building has a half-round shape. The two wings at the sides represent the Boerish and the English part of the population.

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    Union Buildings

    by PierreZA Updated Jul 28, 2008

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    Union Buildings

    The Union Buildings is built on a "koppie" (small hill) overlooking the central part of Pretoria.
    It is a magnificent sandstone building, designed by Sir Herbert Baker.
    The cornerstone was laid in 1910 - that is when SA became a Union. It was completed in 1913.
    You have wonderful views of the city from here, and has beautiful gardens.
    The inorguration of Nelson Mandela as the President of the new South Africa was held at the Union Buildings.
    It is home to the presidency.

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    Union Buildings - The seat of the SA goverment

    by tpk2 Updated Nov 19, 2006

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    Union Buildings and the statue of General Botha

    Union Buildings, situated on Meintjies Kop close to the center of Pretoria, is the official seat of the South African government. It also houses the offices of the President. These 275 m long buildings were built 1910-1913 and are considered as one of the architectural masterpieces of SA.

    Beautiful terraced gardens surround the building. Within the grounds are the 9 thousand seat amphitheatre and several monuments, most notably the statue of General Botha, the first prime minister of the Union of South Arfica.

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  • dejavu2gb's Profile Photo

    Union Building

    by dejavu2gb Updated Jan 27, 2006

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    Union Buildings, Pretoria

    Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, and stretching for 257m, is the gorgeous Union Building, located in the Capital of South Africa, Pretoria.
    Standing majestically on Meintjies Kop overlooking Pretoria, surrounded by its beautifully manicured gardens, makes it one of the most popular sights in Pretoria.
    The name originates from the time when South Africa was referred to a union, and then in 1961 it changed to the Republic of South Africa, but the building still kept its name, and has been known as the Union Building, ever since.

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    The Union Buildings

    by MikeAtSea Written Jan 24, 2005

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    The Union Buildings

    The Union Buildings are an impressive red sandstone building which are surrounded by gardens. Here the government administration is at home and also houses the headquarters of the State President when Pretoria is the capital city

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    The Union Buildings

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 5, 2004

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    Union Building

    The Union Buildings in Pretoria share duties with Cape Town as the seat of the South African government, with sittings in the higher altitude Pretoria taking place during the winter months when temperatures are more moderate. Built of light sandstone (1910-1913), the Union Buildings were named for the South African Union which was formed by amalgamation of the original states of South Africa. It is 275 m in length and has two curving wings spreading out from the central building. This was supposed to signify the joining together of the Boer and English populations (or some could say the attack formation used by the Zulu tribes of old!).

    The buildings are very pleasing to the eye, and are located on Meintjies Kop, a hill overlooking the valley in which Pretoria itself is nestled. There is also a 9000-seat amphitheatre and beautiful grounds and walkways to enjoy. We had a great time just wandering around looking at the architecture and admiring the landscaping on a not very busy Sunday morning! Looking down onto Pretoria, it was fantastic to see the lilac-coloured canopy of Jacaranda trees in full bloom.

    Across the valley, on the ridge along the other side, we could see the huge Voortrekker Monument (Tip to follow). The photo shows one of the walkway bridges over a small pond featuring birds and various water lilies.

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  • xinxin's Profile Photo

    The Union Building

    by xinxin Written Apr 3, 2004
    The Union Building

    The Union Building has a half-round shape.It does indeed look majestic...

    The building's name comes from the time of the South African Union, which was only changed in 1961 to the current name, the Republic of South Africa.

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  • Deefstes's Profile Photo

    Union Buildings

    by Deefstes Written Oct 9, 2003

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    Union Buildings

    The Union Buildings are where the presidential office is. It is situated on a hill giving a lovely view over Pretoria.

    In Spring time it is truly magnificent as the purple Jacaranda trees line all the streets.

    By night it also makes for a very romantic scene with the night time view over Pretoria.

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  • Waalewiener's Profile Photo

    This is the magnificent Government Union building.

    by Waalewiener Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Union building Gov of South Africa.

    This '' Union '' half round shaped building is the pride of all South Africans , it is an enormous 275 meter long building which houses the Government of the Republic of South Africa, formely called before 1961 South African Union .
    The buildings architect was Sir Herbert Baker and it was made with light sand stone.

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    UNION BUILDING

    by CharleneP Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Union Building
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    The gardens is outstanding and the building it self is beautiful. You can walk through the gardens. It is used since the first free and common elections in South Africa in 1994 the Union Building has been the seat of Ex-President Nelson Mandela for the winter season.

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    The Union Buildings

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 28, 2008

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    The Union Building
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    This is the seat of the South Africa Executive Office. The building itself is not open for public viewing. The grounds and gardens around it can be freely explored by the public.

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    The Union Building Gardens

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 27, 2005

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    Union Building gardens
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    The gardens are open to the public to roam. The top of the gardens also provide an excellent view of the city.

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  • lichinga's Profile Photo

    The Union Building

    by lichinga Updated Dec 14, 2003
    Union Building

    Impressive, no doubt. It stands on a hill surmounting the centre of Pretoria (well, now Tshwane....). The seat of the SA Government, while the Parliament is in Cape Town.

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