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Voortrekker Monument
Pretoria, Gauteng

Gerard Leendert Pieter MOERDYK: Architect

Date:1938-1949
Type:Monument
Style:Boere Deco
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
-25.776461,28.175892
25°46'35.26" S 28°10'33.21" E Alt: 1498m

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The foundation stone was laid on 16 December 1938 and the inauguration was 16 December 1949.

In the later stages of the project Moerdyk was assisted by WATSON, Henry Arthur Ingress.

The frieze was sculpted in South Africa between 1942 and 1946 in clay and full size plaster models by Peter KIRCHHOFF, Frikkie KRUGER, Laurika POSTMA and Hennie POTGIETER. The models were sent to Italy and carved by Italian stone masons in Carrara marble in the studios of Prof. Romano Romanelli. Hennie Potgieter and Laurika Postma stayed in Italy for a year, 1948, to supervise the carving. It is the longest continuous marble frieze in the world. The total cost of the frieze was R120 000.

_____________________

Wording on corner stone.

'N AGTERKLEINDOGTER VAN
PIETER RETIEF
'N KLEINDOGTER VAN
ANDRIES PRETORIUS
'N AGTERKLEINDOGTER VAN
ANDRIES HENDRIK POTGIETER
HET GESAMENTLIK
HIERDIE HOEKSTEEN GELÊ
OP 16 DESEMBER 1938

(A great granddaughter of
Pieter Retief
A granddaughter of
Andries Pretorius
A great granddaughter of
Andries Hendrik Potgieter
Together laid this corner stone
on 16 December 1938)

_____________________

Wording on the commemorative granite stones.

_____________________

DIE GELOFTE

AFGELÊ DEUR DIE VOORTREKKERMANS
ONDER BEVEL VAN ANDRIES PRETORIUS
TUSSEN 9 EN 15 DESEMBER VOOR
DIE SLAG VAN BLOEDRIVIER OP
16 DESEMBER 1838

Hier staan ons voor die Heilige God van
hemel en aarde om 'n gelofte aan Hom
te doen dat,

as Hy ons sal beskerm en ons vyand in
ons hand sal gee,

ons die dag en datum elke jaar as 'n dankdag
soos 'n Sabbat sal deurbring;

en dat ons 'n huis tot Sy eer sal oprig
waar dit Hom behaag,

en dat ons ook aan ons kinders sal sê
dat hulle met ons daarin moet deel tot
nagedagtenis ook vir die
opkomende geslagte.

Want die eer van Sy Naam sal verheerlik word,
deur die roem en die eer van oorwinning
aan Hom te gee.

_____________________

THE VOW

MADE BY THE VOORTREKKER MEN
UNDER COMMAND OF ANDRIES PRETORIUS
BETWEEN 9 AND 15 DECEMBER
BEFORE THE BATTLE OF BLOOD RIVER
ON 16 DECEMBER 1838

Here we stand before the holy God of
heaven and earth,

to make a vow to Him that,

if He will protect us and give our
enemy into our hand,

we shall keep this day and date every year as a day
of thanksgiving like a Sabbath,

and that we shall erect a house to His honour
wherever it shall please Him,

and that we also will tell our children that
they should share in that with us in memory
for the future generations.

For the honour of His name will be glorified by giving
Him the fame and honour for the victory.

_____________________

VOORTREKKER MONUMENT
Architect: Gerard Moerdyk
Completed: 1949

The Voortrekker Monument was built between
1937 and 1949 in the Art Deco style.
Three direct descendants of Voortrekker leaders
Piet Retief, Andries Pretorius and Hendrik Potgieter
laid the corner stone on 16 December 1938.
It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister,
Dr DF Malan, in the presence of approximately
250 000 people on the 16 December 1949.

The Monument commemorates those pioneers
who participated in a migration between
1835 and 1854 called the Great Trek. During this
period approximately 15 000 pioneers moved
northwards across the Orange River and Drakensberg
into the interior of South Africa. The founding
of the Boer Republics Transvaal (1852) and
the Orange Free State (1854) was a direct
result of the Great Trek.

_____________________

arts and culture
________________

Department
Arts and Culture
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

DECLARATION OF THE VOORTREKKER MONUMENT, FARM GROENKLOOF, PRETORIA
AS A NATIONAL HERITAGE SITE

By virtue of the powers vested in the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in
terms of section 27(5) of the National Heritage Resources Act, 25 of 1999, SAHRA hereby
declares the Voortrekker Monument and all associated heritage objects, as a National Heritage
Site.

The Voortrekker Monument commemorates the mass inland movement of pioneers from the
Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854. The Monument also serves to remind South Africans of
the epitome of Afrikaner Nationalism, forming part of the South African historical political
landscape. It had an indelible effect on the way the new democratic South Africa has
developed.

VERKLARING VAN DIE VOORTREKKERMONUMENT, PLAAS GROENKLOOF, PRETORIA
AS 'N NASIONALE ERFENISTERREIN

Deur die magte aan hom verleen verklaar die Suid-Afrikaanse Erfenishulpbronagentskap
(SAHRA) in terme van seksie 27(5) van die Nasionale Erfenishulpbronwet 25 van 1999 hiermee
die voortrekkermonument en alle verwante erfenisvoorwerpe, as 'n Nasionale Erfenisterrein.

Die Voortrekkermonument bring hulde aan die massamigrasie van pioniers wat tussen 1835 en
1854 vanaf die Kaapkolonie na die binneland getrek het. Benewens hierdie geskiedenis,
herinner die Monument Suid-Afrikaners aan die hoogtepunt van Afrikaner Nasionalisme, wat
deel was van die historiese politieke landskap. Dit het 'n onuitwisbare invloed gehad op die
wyse waarop die nuwe demokratiese Suid-Afrika ontwikkel het.

GO KAIWA GA MONYUMENTE WA VOORTREKKER, WA KWA POLASENG YA
GROENKLOOF, PRETORIA JAAKA LEFELO SA BOSETŠHABA LA NGWAOBOSWA

Ka dithata tse di neetsweng Setheo sa Didirisiwa tsa Ngwaoboswa jwa Aforika Borwa (SAHRA)
go ya ka karolo 27(5) ya Molao Bosetšhaba wa Didirisiwa tsa Ngwaoboswa wa 25 wa 1999,
SAHRA e kaya Momyumente wa Voortrekkerle le dilo tsotlhe tse di amagantsweng tsa boswa,
jaaka Lefelo la Bosetšhaba la Ngwaoboswa.

Momyumente wa Voortrekkerle o gopola motsamao wa bontsi wa naga gare wa bautulodi ba
Koloni ya Kapa magareng ga 1835 le 1854. Gape Momyumente o dira go gopotsa Maaforika
Borwa ka ga sesupo sa Bosetšhaba jwa Maaforikanere, se se bopang karolo ya naga ya Aforika
Borwa ya polotiki ya histori. O nnjle le maatla a a sa phimogeng kaga tsela e
Aforika Borwa e Ntšhwa ya Temokerasi e bopegileng ka yona.

The Monument was declared by SAHRA
on 8 July 2011.

Unveiled by the Minister of Arts and Culture
Mr Paul Mashatile on 16 March 2012

_____________________

Visit the Voortrekker Monument website and Wikipedia for information on the Symbolism of the Voortrekker Monument.


Writings about this entry

Hatfield, Denis. 1967. Some South African monuments. Cape Town: Purnell. pg 82-84
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pg 162
Pillman, Naka. 1984. Laurika Postma : n Biografie. Pretoria: De Jager-HAUM. pg 44-53
Swart, Marius J. 1989. Afrikanerbakens. Johannesburg: Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge. pg 18, 69, 160, 170, 185, 266
Vermeulen, Irma. 1999. Man en Monument : Die lewe en werk van Gerard Moerdijk. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik. pg 127-136
Keath, Michael The Baker School: A Continuing Tradition 1902-1940: in Fisher, RC, Le Roux, SW and Maré, E (Eds). 1998. Architecture of the Transvaal: pp 82