The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Union Buildings, Pretoria

Afrikaans name: Uniegebou

Union Buildings, Pretoria

Union Buildings, Pretoria

Photo © Johan van Zyl


The Union Buildings are located on top of Meintjieskop in Pretoria. These magnificent buildings house the office of the State President and are the official seat of the South African government. If the president is in residence then a South African flag is flown above his office on the left hand side of the building.

The designer of the complex was Sir Herbert Baker. His design incorporated a semi-circle flanked by a wing on each side. They were constructed out of sandstone between 1909 and 1913.

The Union Buildings are 285 metres long and, at time of building completion, were the biggest building in South Africa and, according to some, the biggest building in the southern hemisphere.

There are two towers which represented the two major languages which were English and Afrikaans at the time.

Did you know that no building in Pretoria may block the line of sight between the Union Buildings and the Voortrekker Monument.

Statue of Mandela

Above - Statue of former State President Nelson Mandela

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Union Buildings

Above - Beautiful gardens surround the Union Buildings

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Union Buildings

Above - A cannon overlooking Pretoria

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

A Visitors Guide to Gardens in South Africa - Author: Nancy Gardiner - Published: 1988 - Page: 128

Family Fun - Author: Lisa McNamara - Published: 2015 - Page: 142

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 117

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 38


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