Inside Africa, Travel

7 Most Amazing Monuments and Statues in South Africa

If you are looking to explore both the history and artistry of South Africa, you will find that it offers plenty of both in the form of numerous monuments and statues. You will find many of them in Cape Town, so that is a great starting point on your monument tour.

But your journey will also take you to Howick, Pretoria, Franschhoek, and Paarl. Let’s check out 7 of the most amazing monuments and statues to add to your itinerary!

7. Mandela Capture Site Sculpture, Howick

August 5th, 1962 was a dark day for human rights—the day that Nelson Mandela was captured by police. He would spend the next 27 years of his life in prison before finally being released in 1990 so that he could end apartheid in South Africa.

Nelson Mandela Capture Site

Nelson Mandela Capture Site – image credit to: Darren J Glanville – CC BY-SA 2.0

For decades, the site where Mandela was arrested was nothing more than a little bricked-in spot with a modest plaque. But in 2012, artist Marco Cianfanelli and architect Jeremy Rose unveiled an extraordinary, unusual sculpture comprised of 50 steel poles of different heights. Up close, these poles look like nothing more than random steel stakes driven into the ground, but at a distance of approximately 35 meters, they form a portrait of the great man

6. Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria

This huge granite structure is perched on a hilltop and was designed by architect Gerard Moerdijk. It recognizes the Voortrekkers, who departed from Cape Colony in the mid-19th century. Measuring 40 x 40 x 40 metres, the monument integrates German, French, and African architectural elements.

Voortrekker Monument Pretoria

Voortrekker Monument Pretoria – image credit to: Francois Du Rand – CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the most noteworthy features is the Centopath. Every year on December 16th at twelve o’clock precisely, a ray of sunlight pours down through an opening in the dome to highlight the words “Ons vir Jou, Suid-Afrika,” which translates to “We for Thee, South Africa,” on the Centopath. While visiting the monument, also be sure to check out the marble historical frieze, which is among the largest in the world. 27 bas-relief panels tell the story of the Great Trek.

5. Nobel Square, Cape Town Central

One of the most famous monuments in South Africa is found at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Here you will see four bronze statues representing the country’s Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, and FW de Klerk all played a key role in bringing human rights and democracy to South Africa. Here you can pay tribute to the work of these courageous and determined men.

Nobel Square

Nobel Square – image credit to: Fritz Joubert – CC BY-SA 4.0

4. Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town Central

On Devil’s Peak in Cape Town, you will find a monument to Cecil John Rhodes designed by architect Sir Herbert Baker. The spot where the monument is situated was Rhodes’ favourite. Here you can find his wooden work bench, and walk the 49 steps of the Greek-style monument, one for each year that Rhodes lived. There is also a striking statue here in bronze titled “Physical Energy,” designed by George Frederic Watts, as well as a bust of Rhodes and eight bronze lions by John Macallan Swan.

Rhodes Memorial Wynberg

Rhodes Memorial Wynberg – image credit to: Janek Szymanowski – CC BY-SA 3.0

Be sure to stop in at the tea room or have a picnic; the view here is incredible, and there are some great hiking trails nearby as well. You can easily plan a whole day around a visit here.

Pages: 1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>