Battlefield History Tours

Battlefield History Tours
Incorporating History and Heritage tours

Second Boer War Tour to South Africa 31 May 2018


Today was our Pretoria day. We started with a visit to President Kruger's House Museum. Beautifully preserved buildings, and a great collection of artefacts from his time. Then to the Union Building where we learned the significance of Castor and Pollocks, marvelled at the architecture and the size of the Nelson Mandela statue.

President Kruger's House is a great example of late Victorian architecture, we found it to be stocked with great examples of the implements of the time, well laid out and in excellent condition. Church Square is being remodelled, President Kruger's statue was only able to be viewed from afar. We found the Café Riche, haunt of the South African legal fraternity to be of great interest.

We then proceeded to Melrose house where we paraded before the lion statues to mark the 116th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of Vereeniging that concluded the Second Boer War. I was not allowed to take photos in Melrose House, being advised my photography (no flash) would damage the wood finishes. I must admit I was gobsmacked by this explanation of the restriction (the photos here are recycled ones from previous visits).

After this we visited Pretoria Model School, now a library where Winston Churchill was a prisoner. The remarkable display is a battle map maintained by the prisoners from information they received from outside. Prisoners also hid beneath the flooring in an attempt to escape; cramped quarters as the photo shows.

Lunch was at the Blue Crane Restaurant, most of us had the fish of the day, it was excellent.

In the afternoon we visited the magnificent Voortrekker Monument where Pieter explained the historic fresco in detail. The grandeur of the monument and exhibits fair takes your breath away.


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