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Pretoria: the administrative capital of South Africa

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Located in the province of Gauteng, between the mountain ranges of the north-eastern part of the country, at an altitude of 1,339 meters above sea level, and only 50 km from Johannesburg. The city of Pretoria is located in the transition area between the tropical savannah (Bushveld) and the Highveld plateau. The city was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a Boer leader, who called it Pretoria in honor of his father Andries Pretorius.

Pretoria is one of the three capitals of South Africa. This is where the executive-administrative power is based, while Cape Town is the legislative capital and Bloemfontein the judicial capital. The city is one of the most populous in South Africa. The city population exceeds seven hundred thousand inhabitants, while the metropolitan area reaches three million inhabitants. According to the 2011 census, 52.5% of the city’s population is white, 42% black and 2.5% coloured. The most widely spoken language is Afrikaans.


The city has a regular plan made up of streets that intersect at right angles. The center of the cities is formed by the vast rectangular square of Church Square. In the city center there are numerous government buildings and other buildings in different architectural styles including examples of 19th century colonial architecture and modern architecture buildings. Pretoria is a city full of greenery and gardens. In the gardens the dominant plant is the Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) whose abundance has earned the city the nickname “Jacaranda City”.

Among the most significant references of the city we find above all the Voortrekkers Memorial and the house of Paul Kruger. There are also some interesting museums, including the Transvaal Museum (Ditsong National Museum of Natural History) dedicated to natural history, and the Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History dedicated to the prehistory of South Africa. Interesting historical buildings are the four forts built between 1897 and 1898 by the Boers during the Anglo-Boer War: Fort Schanskop, Fort Wonderboompoort, Fort Klapperkop and Fort Daspoortrand.

Pretoria has its own airport, the Lanseria International Airport located 35 km south-west of the city, but few are the flights that serve it. The city is therefore served mainly by Johannesburg International Airport (O. R. Tambo International) which is located only 45 kilometers south of the center of Pretoria.

The climate of Pretoria.

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