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Church Square

View the court where Nelson Mandela was convicted and other historic buildings around this grassy square in the center of Pretoria.

Stretch out in the shade of a jacaranda tree and admire Pretoria’s landmark buildings in the centrally located Church Square. Town history is on display in the historical sculptures and structures that surround this plaza’s wide lawns.

Walk to the north edge of the square to see the dual bell towers of the Palace of Justice. Here, in the 1960s, Nelson Mandela was convicted to life in prison for terrorism. After serving 27 years in jail, he became president of South Africa and an international icon.

Other important buildings in the area include the Ou Raadsaal (Old Government) building, where the parliament of the South African Republic once met. Admire the many pillars of its brown neoclassical façade. Next door, find the Ou Nederlandsche Bank Building, which has a tourist information office inside.

Originally called Market Square, Church Square started out as a marketplace for farmers. Its name was changed with the construction of a mud-walled church at the center of the square. The church burned down in 1882 and another was constructed and eventually demolished. Today, Church Square is a flat, open expanse that affords clear views of the buildings that surround it.

Go to the center of the square to admire the statue of South African Republic president Paul “Uncle Paul” Kruger, who led the resistance against the British in the Second Boer War. The bronze Kruger statue stands proudly above the square with a tall top hat. Four statues of Boers sit around him.

Café Riche, on the west side of Church Square, is one of Pretoria’s oldest restaurants. Visit on the last Friday of the month for FilosofieKafee (Philosophy Coffee), which features speakers and discussions on philosophical topics.

Arrive at the square on a Wednesday morning to view a weekly procession. Members of the National Ceremonial Guard march into the square and raise the national and municipal flags.

Church Square is located in the center of Pretoria and is served by a bus, which stops on the park’s west side. Free parking is available around the square.


Guide to Exploring Church Square


Top Hotel Deals

See all 403 Properties near Church Square
SUN1 Pretoria £30
SUN1 Pretoria

SUN1 Pretoria

80-85 Pretorius Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
     
    2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Pretoria Central Business District, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Kruger House Museum and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from UNISA. Kruger Museum and Old Raadsaal are also within 10 minutes.

    Sierra Burgers Park Hotel £91
    Sierra Burgers Park Hotel

    Sierra Burgers Park Hotel

    424 Lilian Ngoyi Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Pretoria Central Business District, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Burgers Park and within 3 miles (5 km) of UNISA and University of Pretoria. Melrose House and Breytenbach Theatre are also within 10 minutes.

      Morning Star Express Hotel
      Morning Star Express Hotel

      Morning Star Express Hotel

      327 Visagie Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Pretoria Central Business District, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Museum of Natural History and State Theatre. Kruger Museum and National Zoological Gardens of South Africa are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        The Park Lodge Hotel £38
        The Park Lodge Hotel

        The Park Lodge Hotel

        499 Thabo Sehume street, Pretoria, Gauteng
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Pretoria Central Business District, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Melrose House and 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from UNISA. National Museum of Natural History and Burgers Park are also within 10 minutes.

          ANEW Hotel Capital Pretoria £51
          ANEW Hotel Capital Pretoria

          ANEW Hotel Capital Pretoria

          390 van der Walt Street, Lilian Ngoyi Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Pretoria hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Burgers Park, National Museum of Natural History and Breytenbach Theatre. UNISA and University of Pretoria are also within 3 miles (5 km).

            Manhattan Hotel £41
            Manhattan Hotel

            Manhattan Hotel

            247 Scheiding Street, Pretoria, Gauteng
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Pretoria Central Business District, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Melrose House and UNISA. University of Pretoria is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away.

              Belgrave Hotel
              Belgrave Hotel

              Belgrave Hotel

              22 Railway Street, Tshwane, Pretoria, Gauteng
                 
                2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Pretoria Central Business District, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Melrose House and UNISA. University of Pretoria is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

                Arcadia Hotel £52
                Arcadia Hotel

                Arcadia Hotel

                515, Johannes Ramokhoase (Proes Street), Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in the historical district, this hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Union Buildings and within 3 miles (5 km) of UNISA and University of Pretoria. State Theatre and Strijdom Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).