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Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria Overview

The Voortrekker Monument is a historic granite structure, erected to honour the valiant Afrikaans colony of the Voortrekkers.

The monument is a massive 40 metres high, made completely of granite with some interesting architectural features. The Voortrekkers were an Afrikaans colony who left the Cape Colony around 1830s and 1840s and moved inwards into South Africa due to the British occupation of the Cape. Back in that time they used to be pastoralists, and were engaged in several wars with other tribes, including the famous Battle of the Blood River, where they defeated the Zulu tribes of Dingane despite being severely outnumbered. The monument itself was opened in 1949, and has such has several notable features. The most notable of these is the Historical Frieze, made fully of marble. It displays various aspects of a day in the lives of Voortrekkers, as well as depictions of the Great Trek across 27 panels. At the centre of the Cenotaph Hall is the Cenotaph, the main attraction of the monument. Every year on 16th December, a ray of sunlight passes through the roof and falls on to its centre at noon. 16th December was the day of the Battle of the Blood River in 1838, and the ray symbolises the blessing of god with which they were able to achieve such a feat. There are other statues of Voortrekker leaders around the monument, and also a copy of the Voortrekker vow from the day of the Battle of the Blood River.

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