Church Square


A statue of Old Lion (Paul Kruger) takes pride of place in the centre of Church Square, which is surrounded by some impressive public buildings. The square was given a facelift in 2017 and is now a more pleasant spot to linger and admire the architecture and busy comings and goings from the municipal buildings.

On the northwest side of the square is the Palace of Justice, where the Rivonia Trial that sentenced Nelson Mandela to life imprisonment was held; the Ou Raadsaal is on the southern side; the Old Capitol Theatre is just off the southwestern corner, near the Old Nederlandsche Bank building, which adjoins Café Riche and houses the tourist information centre; and the handsome main post office is on the western side.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pretoria attractions

1. Palace of Justice

0.05 MILES

HQ of the Gauteng division of South Africa's High Court, this 1897 building is where the Rivonia Trial, that sentenced Nelson Mandela to life imprisonment…

2. Ou Raadsaal

0.06 MILES

The old Parliament Building of the Transvaal Republic Government, dating from 1890, sits on the south side of the square.

3. Old Capitol Theatre

0.09 MILES

This decommissioned theatre, originally opened in 1931, is all but obscured by a hideous concrete parking garage.

4. Kruger Museum

0.37 MILES

The former residence of Paul Kruger, president of the South African Republic from 1883 to 1900, has been preserved as a museum. Built in 1884 and guarded…

5. National Cultural History Museum

0.45 MILES

Concentrating on the cultural history of South Africa, this museum features exhibitions on San rock art, Iron Age figurines from Limpopo and a small…

6. Pretoria National Zoological Gardens

0.55 MILES

There’s a reptile park and an aquarium here, as well as a vast collection of exotic trees and plenty of picnic spots. The highlight, though, is the cable…

7. 012central

0.58 MILES

The rebirth of downtown Pretoria has been given a kickstart by the redevelopment of this set of buildings into an events, arts and social hub. Check out…

8. Melrose House

0.67 MILES

On 31 May 1902, the Treaty of Vereeniging, which ended the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), was signed in the dining room of this stately mansion. Highlights…