The Voortrekker Monument

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The Voortrekker Monument was built in 1938 to symbolize the unity of the Afrikaner people, descended from those early pioneers who set out to settle the interior of South Africa, and establish a state in keeping with their religious views. The monument is a vast, imposing edifice, a huge brick Cenotaph surrounded by a wall bearing the frieze of 64 Great Trek wagons. These symbolize the 64 wagons at the Battle of Blood River, a pivotal event in early Afrikaner history when a small raiding party of Voortrekkers held of an assault by several thousand Zulu troops. This event gave the Voortrekkers the idea that their enterprise was favoured by God, and is why it was the inspiration for the monument. There are also murals depicting scenes from the Great Trek and a museum: it’s an important place to visit to understand the origin and role the Voortrekkers and their Afrikaner descendants have played in South African history.

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