Pretoria has a complex and fascinating past. Initially the capital of the independent Boer republic of the Transvaal, it moved on to became one of the three capitals of South Africa and an international symbol of Apartheid.
Then the turnabout came in 1994 with the jubilant inauguration of former President Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected President. Suddenly the Union Buildings transformed from a symbol of white, supremacist domination to one of genuine unity in this beautiful and culturally rich city.
The Union Buildings still form the official seat of South Africa's government and houses The Presidency as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs. Built at the loftiest point of South Africa's capital city, the elegant buildings preside like an ancient temple adorning and presiding over the city it governs.
Designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the building was completed in 1913. Herbert Baker chose Meintjieskop for the site because it reminded him of the acropolises of Greece and Asia Minor. The overall design is influenced by the neo-classic architecture of the Italian Renaissance as well as Cape Dutch.
Union Buildings Map
* We rely on Google's mapping service, and the location information supplied to
us to show street view images. Please use street view as a guide only as we cannot
guarantee its accuracy.
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling