Gauteng Tourist AttractionsThe Freedom Park
When Nelson Mandela said in 1999 - “the day should not be far off, when we shall have a people’s shrine, a freedom park, where we shall honour with all the dignity they deserve, those who endured pain so we should experience the joy of freedom.” - he was describing the Freedom Park, which today stands on 52 hectares on Salvokop in Pretoria; a monument to democracy.
Where? Corner of Koch and 7th Avenue, Salvokop, Pretoria
When? Open seven days a week from 08h00 to 16h30
How? Call +27 (0)12 336-4000
The Freedom Park opened its doors in December 2007. It is a space where South Africans and visitors to the country can reflect on the past, and is an inspiration for the future. It is regarded as one of the most ambitious heritage projects the government has invested in; an attempt to encapsulate the heart and soul of South Africa in a physical space.
The park is established on the cornerstones of human dignity, rights and freedom and reflects the sacrificial achievements of the nation. It serves, according to Dr Wally Serote, “as a permanent reminder for us, now and for future generations, that South Africans did take a step forward to put closure to the past while not forgetting it.”
The elements of Freedom Park include Isivivane, a symbolic resting place of those who sacrificed their lives in the struggle. It includes a symbolic burial ground, surrounded by eleven boulders known as Lesaka, a body of water at both entrances for baptism and drinking, and Umlahlankosi trees.
Sikhumbuto, another element of the park, includes a Wall of Names, an amphitheatre, an eternal flame, a gallery of leaders, and a sanctuary; Moshate functions as an exhibition space; Mveledzo is a spiral path that allows a contemplative journey for visitors; Uitspanplek - a tranquil space with a view in which to rest; Tiva, a large body of water symbolising peace (still to be completed), and the Pan African archives, also due for completion. (See Visit the Freedom Park for contact details, times and additional info on when to visit etc).