Civic Matters

The Pretoria
City Hall was built to celebrate Pretoria’s city status, attained in 1931.
Designed by FG McIntosh and John Lockwood Hall, this classical Italian style
building has charmed residents and visitors alike since 1935.

Soaring 47
meters into the Highveld sky, the clock tower boasts a careillon of 32 bells,
donated by George Heys, famous owner of Melrose House.

10 solid
granite columns support the massive cornice and pediment, the latter sculpted
by Coert Steynberg. The designs represent the progress of the city.

The two
statues in the walkway in front of the City Hall, were also done by Coert
Steynberg. Andries Pretorius, after whom Pretoria was named and his son MW
Pretorius, founder of the city and first President of the ZAR.
(Zuid-Afrikaansche Republic)

Inside the
foyer a Walter Battiss  painting catches
my eye. It depicts the fauna of Pretoria 1855, with all the surrounding farms
named after animals depicted in the work.

Even though
most of the current council offices are found elsewhere in the city, some of
the chambers are still in use to this day. I peek into a vacant one, and I am
struck by the name on the huge mural, rather than the art work itself. Jan
Juta.  In the Pretoria of my childhood
one of the only 2 bookstores in the city, was called Juta’s.  Surely there must be a connection ? Turns out
Jan Juta’s grand father was the founder the bookstore in which I spent many happy

So, next
time you are in Pretoria, be sure to visit  the City Hall.


About tshwanetourist

freelance journalist, accidental tourist, avid sports fan, Mercedes Sosa convert
This entry was posted in Culture, History, Local, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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