Union Buildings

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The Union Buildings with the equestrian statue of Louis Botha

The Union Buildings ( Afrikaans : Uniegebou ) in Pretoria are the seat of the South African government. The Union Buildings also house the offices of the President of the Republic of South Africa .


The building complex on Meintjieskop was built by the architect Sir Herbert Baker in a monumental style from sandstone . It is 275 meters long. Two wings adjoin a semicircular courtyard, which symbolize the two official languages ​​of South Africa at the time, English and Afrikaans.


Marthinus Wessel Pretorius , who later became the first President of the South African Republic , was the original owner of the Elandsfontein farm . In 1856 Andries Francois du Toit, the first magistrate of Pretoria, acquired part of the farm and named it Arcadia . A hill belongs to this area. Du Toit later sold the land to Stephanus Jacobus Meintjies, after whom the hill was named Meintjieskop . The Union Buildings were erected there. The foundation stone was laid in November 1910 shortly after the establishment of the South African Union , which gave the complex its name. The Union Buildings were completed in 1913.


The gardens of the Union Buildings
The statues of JBM Hertzog (front) and Nelson Mandela (in the background)

Several memorials and statues are located in the gardens, including the equestrian monument to General Louis Bothas (first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa), the Delville Wood War Memorial in memory of the South African soldiers who died in World War I and the Korean War , and the South African Police memorial for the South African police officers who died while on duty. The Nelson Mandela statue was inaugurated on December 16, 2013 by President Jacob Zuma and is located on the previous site of the statue of James Barry Munnick Hertzog (Prime Minister 1924–1939). Hertzog's statue was rotated 90 degrees and moved to the east. Some guns line the Union Buildings. A special feature is the 10.5 cm cannon at the western approach, which was originally a cannon from SMS Königsberg and was recovered by the British after it was sunk in the Rufiji Delta .

Historical events

  • On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women demonstrated against the passport laws at the Union Buildings . Since 1994, August 9th has been a public holiday in South Africa as National Women's Day .
  • On May 10, 1994, Nelson Mandela was sworn in as President of the Republic of South Africa and Vice President in front of the Union Buildings.
  • From December 11 to 13, 2013, Nelson Mandela's body was laid out in public in front of the Union Buildings.

See also

Web links

Commons : Union Buildings  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. Monument in South Africa's capital: Mandela statue watches over Pretoria. In: Spiegel Online , December 16, 2013.
  2. Jonisayi Maromo: Zuma: Hertzog statue removed after exhaustive consultation process. In: Mail & Guardian , December 16, 2013 (English).
  3. ^ Procedure for the funeral ceremonies in South Africa. In: Welt Online , December 10, 2013.

Coordinates: 25 ° 44 ′ 28 ″  S , 28 ° 12 ′ 42 ″  E