City of Pretoria, South Africa

City of Pretoria, South Africa

Whereas Johannesburg was born of a gold rush and developed into a bustling town within a year, Pretoria's growth took place at a more sedate pace with the city gradually evolving from a farming community into a modern metropolis.

Pretoria's Voortrekker Monumnet; commemorating the pioneers
The first homestead belonged to a farmer called Bronkhorst, who settled in the fountains area in 1840. More families put roots down in and around the nearby village of Elandspoort, which, in 1854, was proclaimed the kerkplaas for the central Transvaal (the focal point for communion, weddings, etc.).

The Famous Jacaranda Trees
In 1854 Pretoria's first Dutch Reformed Church was built in Church Square, and the city gre around the building. Like may other towns in South Africa, Pretoria was built on a grid pattern with the church as it's heart. The city was named in 1855 and five years later became the officially designated capital of the independant Voortrekker republic of Transvaal (or the South African Republic). Fifty years later, in 1910, it became the administrative capital of South Africa.

Pretoria's jacaranda trees are famed throughout South Africa and has been given the nickname of "Jacaranda City". These trees were initially imported from Rio de Janeiro in 1888, at 10 Pounds Sterling apiece. Now there are more than 70,000 of these trees in parks, gardens and streets.