Visiting the Union Buildings in Pretoria

A few posts back I wrote a bit about our November visit to Pretoria to see the Jacarandas and promised to write more about the trip later.  Pretoria is about an hour north of Joburg and one of the 3 capitals of South Africa (Cape Town and Bloemfontein are the others).  There are quite a few sites to see in Pretoria, however as our main goal for the day was to see the Jacarandas, we headed straight to the Union Buildings which I had read is the best place to see them.

Union BuildingsUnion Buildings from the Garden Below

The Union Buildings contain official government offices (including that of the President) and you are not allowed to enter but you can however visit the lovely gardens below.  The Union Buildings are the highest point in Pretoria and there are fantastic views of the city from here.

View of Pretoria from the Union BuildingsView of Pretoria from the Union Buildings

Just as we arrived, a wedding party was finishing up a photo session.  I loved the bright colors as well as the stylish (and quite practical on this hot day) parasols carried by the beautiful ladies.

The guys practicing their dance moves for the party laterThe guys practicing their dance moves for the party later

Happily posing for more photosHappily posing for more photos

We were a little late for the Jacarandas, but the gardens are lovely and well-maintained.


My plant knowledge is pathetic, can anyone help identify this for me?My plant knowledge is pathetic, can anyone help identify this for me?

The gardens also contain several different memorials, including the South African Police Memorial, the Barry Hertzog Statue (which has now been relocated and replaced by a Nelson Mandela statue, you can read about it here), and a replica of the Delville Wood South African National Memorial in France.

South African Police MemorialSouth African Police Memorial

Barry Hertzog StatueBarry Hertzog Statue

Delville Wood WW1 Memorial ReplicaDelville Wood WW1 Memorial Replica

The Union Buildings are quite diverse in architectural style and I will be keeping my eyes open for a tour sometime to learn more about them.  This was also the site of Nelson Mandela’s inaugural address, as well as where he laid in state for 3 days after his death last month.

Steps leading up from the gardens to the Union BuildingsSteps leading up from the gardens to the Union Buildings

Union BuildingsUnion Buildings

8 thoughts on “Visiting the Union Buildings in Pretoria

  1. Thank you very much, I’am really glad that I’m following you. I’m still figuring out. Just wanted to say that you are an awesome blogger, Inspiring and May you inspire more readers essentially perfectly ok. greetings from Gede Prama 🙂


  2. Pingback: Stepping Inside the Villa Arcadia for Joburg Heritage Weekend | Under an African Sun

  3. Pingback: Exploring the Heritage Gardens of Upper Houghton | Under an African Sun

  4. I love your blog! The plant in the picture is called a “broodboom” in Afrikaans (it translates to “bread tree”). They are endangered and expensive to buy, but you do see them quite often in and around Pretoria.


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