About Mandela Memorial Square

Travellers that have booked their guesthouse or B&B in Stellenbosch may know a bit about this little gem’s fascinating history. But, experiencing it in person is something special. And South Africa’s rich history ranges from prehistoric fossil finds to the very roots of the Rainbow Nation and its freedom fighters. For the past few decades, Nelson Mandela has been a major part of this country’s identity, history and even future. And, in recognition of this iconic leader, the Mandela Memorial Square was created and erected in Stellenbosch in 2013.

Did you know? Once you've booked your hotel or accommodation in Stellenbosch, explore the destination pages for info on attractions, activities and things to do when you visit the Cape Winelands.

This memorial square is right in front of Stellenbosch’s Town Hall and Council Chambers. It is the innovative design of Strijdom van der Merwe; a South African land artist that is best known for his use of sand, rock, water and wood. The square has been created from silhouettes of Mandela’s face, laser-cut out of iron and erected on two sides of a concrete block. There is a bench too, and the entire exhibit is lit up when dark falls.

Each side of his face shows something of significance to Nelson Mandela. On the eastern side of the exhibit, there is a map of different parts of the country that were significant to him, for a variety of reasons (including Qunu and Rivonia).

Mandela was renowned for his gentle style while driving home absolute truths. And, to honour his wisdom, his words are inscribed on the marble: "Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another."

Stellenbosch is in the heart of the Cape Winelands and is less than an hour from the Cape Town International Airport. Franschhoek is just over the scenic mountain pass and is renowned as the food and wine capital of South Africa.

Need to Know

WhereMandela Memorial Square, Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands, Western Cape, South Africa

WhenBest viewed during daylight hours or in the evenings when the entire exhibit is lit up.

TelephoneNot applicable

OvernightStay in Stellenbosch Accommodation, Western Cape


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Nelson Mandela

Fascinated with Past President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela? Nelson Mandela is one of the world's most remarkable leaders. Find out more about his past and his impact on South Africa's present and future, and follow in his footsteps with our curated Mandela Route of South Africa.

A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

The Mandela Route

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Bush Lodge at Hidden Valley Wines

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