South Africa is a country rich in heritage, offering stories of one of the world’s most tumultuous histories, and to celebrate that our country is dotted with many a historical monument, landmark and statue that people from all over the globe flock to South Africa to experience.
Some of South Africa’s most prominent and popular monuments include:
1. Brenda Fassie’s bronze sculpture, Newtown
Known as the Madonna of South Africa’s townships, Brenda Fassie was one of Africa’s biggest stars. As an ode to her, a 1,5metre bronze, life-like statue stands in Newtown, outside the Bassline music venue, besides her is a vacant stool – an invitation to sit and enjoy the moment.
2. Mandela Capture Site sculpture, KwaZulu-Natal
Created by artist Marco Cianfanelli, the amazing sculpture is created out of 50 steel columns which stand between 6.5 – 9.5 metres tall, placed strategically to create Madiba’s portrait. It is one of South Africa’s most unconventional yet most popular monuments located in the KZN Midlands and commemorates the exact site where Nelson Mandela was captured before being sent to Robben Island.
3. Nelson Mandela Voting Line, Port Elizabeth
A series of metal figures representing all the communities who share South Africa and who voted peacefully on 27 April 1994, South Africa’s first free democratic elections, are the subject of this unusual sculpture in Port Elizabeth.
4. Nobel Square, Cape Town
Larger than life bronze statues of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu stand alongside two other Nobel Prize winners – Albert Luthuli and FW de Klerk – in the Waterfront square in Cape Town.
5. Taal Monument, Paarl
The various tapering obelisks that make up the Taal Monument stand on Paarl Rock, a huge granite outcrop overlooking the town of Paarl. The three convex and concave spheres, designed by Jan van Wijk, symbolise the influence of the West, Malays and African people in the Afrikaans language.
6. Pig and Whistle Inn, Bathurst
Not a statue per se, but the Pig & Whistle Inn in is the oldest continuously operating pub in South Africa. Now a national monument the inn was built in 1832 by Thomas Hartley.
7. The Voortrekker Monument
Situated in Pretoria, the massive granite structure, built to honour the Voortrekkers (Pioneers) who left the Cape Colony in their thousands between 1835 and 1854, was designed by the architect Gerard Moerdijk who had the idea to design a “monument that would stand a thousands of years to describe the history and the meaning of the Great Trek to its descendants
8. Castle of Good Hope
Built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company as a maritime replenishment station, this monument is the oldest surviving colonial building in South African and is said to be haunted!
9. The Rhodes Memorial
This national landmark on Devil’s Peak in Cape Town is a memorial to English-born, South African politician Cecil John Rhodes, and provides an amazing view over industrial Cape Town, the Cape Flats and the Hottentot Holland Mountains.
10. The Union Buildings
The semi-circular building is comprised of two wings – with either side representing the Union of South Africa, between the Afrikaans and the British. Build on the highest point of South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria, the Union Buildings form the official seat of South Africa’s government and houses the Presidency as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs.
These are just a few of the many historical monuments situated across the beautiful land of South Africa, touring through South Africa is a culturally enriching experience and can be done in various forms such as bus, plane, car or even backpacking!
Should you choose to backpack throughout South Africa, know that Empire Tents has you covered with a variety of canvas tents to choose from for your backpacking needs!