Union Buildings, Pretoria
The Union Buildings form the official seat of the South African government and also house the offices of the President of South Africa. The grand Union buildings sit on Meintjies Kop and overlook the city of Pretoria.
The Union Buildings were built from light sandstone and were designed by the architect Sir Herbert Baker in the English monumental style. The Buildings are over 275 m long and boast a semi-circular shape, with the two wings at the sides. This serves to represent the union of a formerly divided people. The east and west wings represent two languages, namely English and Afrikaans. The Union Buildings are considered by many to be the architect's greatest achievement and a South African architectural masterpiece. The cornerstone was laid in November 1910. Requiring over 1,265 workers over 3 years to build, the structure was completed in 1913.
Especially notable are the terraced gardens surrounding the Union buildings which were planted exclusively with indigenous plants as well as the 9 000 seat amphitheatre. Within the grounds are various monuments and statues. The Union Buildings and its spectacular gardens are a "must see" when visiting Pretoria.
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