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Location of Pretoria within South Africa
|Metropolitan municipality||City of Tshwane|
|• Total||1,644 km2 (635 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,271 m (4,170 ft)|
|• Total||2.1 million|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (SAST)|
Pretoria is one of the three capital cities of the African country of South Africa. It is the executive (administrative) and de facto capital of the country. The other two capitals are Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial). The city is in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa.
Geography and climate
Pretoria is between the Highveld and the Bushveld, about 50 km north of Johannesburg in the north-east of South Africa. It is in a warm, well sheltered valley. The valley is surrounded by the hills of the Magaliesberg mountain range. Pretoria has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa in the Koeppen climate classification). Snow is a very rare event. It only snows in Pretoria once or twice in a century.
Pretoria was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Wessel Pretorius. He was a leader of the Voortrekkers. Pretoruis named the city after his father Andries Pretorius. Andries Pretorius had become a hero of the Voortrekkers after the Battle of Blood River. The city became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on May 1, 1860.
The Second Boer War (1899 to 1902) caused the end of the South African Republic. After this war, the United Kingdom took control of South Africa. During the war, Winston Churchill was imprisoned in the Staats Model School in Pretoria. He later got free and went to Mozambique. The city surrendered to British forces on June 5, 1900. The war ended in Pretoria with the signing of the Peace of Vereeniging on May 31 1902.
In 1910, Pretoria then became the administrative capital of all of South Africa, with Cape Town the legislative capital. Between 1860 and 1994, the city was also the capital of the province of Transvaal. On 14 October 1931, Pretoria got official city status. When South Africa became a republic in 1961, Pretoria stayed its administrative capital.
Places of interest
- The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
- Church Square
- Union Buildings
- Menlyn Park
- Kruger House (Residence of the president of the ZAR, Paul Kruger).
- Melrose House (The Treaty of Vereeniging which ended the Anglo-Boer War was signed here in 1902)
- Voortrekker Monument
- Freedom Park
- Transvaal Museum
- African Window
- Groenkloof Nature Reserve
- Rietfontein Nature Reserve
- Moreletaspruit Nature Reserve
- Fairy Glen Nature Reserve
- Wonderboom Nature Reserve
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