Church Square
Church Square
3
What people are saying
Vadim
By Vadim
Church square without a church.
3.0 of 5 bubblesDec 2021
In large European cities, the market square and the cathedral (church) were separated. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. But Pretoria was a small town, so the square was one and was called Church Square, because three churches stood on it consecutively from 1857 to 1905, the last of which was the Verenigde Kerk demolished in 1905. The church was not restored, perhaps because the victorious British didn`t want to create a center of ideological consolidation of the defeated but not surrendered Boers. So it turned out to be a Church square without a church. The square is surrounded by several historically and architecturally significant buildings, the Old Capitol Theater, the Tudor Chambers, the Ou Raadsaal (Old Council Chamber) and the Post Office. However, the most notable is the Palace of Justice, where Mandela and other ANC revolutionaries were tried and sentenced during the historic Rivonia trial. The dominant feature of the square is the statue of President Kruger in a tall hat and with a cane established in the early years of apartheid in 1954. During my visit, the pedestal with Kruger was surrounded by a fence. Probably in order to fight the coronavirus.... I found myself in this square twice in the early morning after arriving in Pretoria and in the middle of the next day. The public in the early morning is not disposed to linger here. Many beggars. Everything is fine during the day. The usual audience for the central square of the city.
Myo M
By Myo M
A big lawn with a historical monument
3.0 of 5 bubblesDec 2021
Somewhat misleading I would say is the name of the square where there's no church although there are some church-like structures with small domes & such above surrounding the square and which are all great-sized heritage-styled structures (for some nice photo-ops), and also making it worthwhile for a brief stop here apart from the great buildings around is the small fenced area right about in the middle of the square where inside the fence is a statue of Paul Kruger (one of the early presidents of the country and actually not just a statue but more of a monument "commemorating the South African Republic's early history" with also engraved historical scenes right around his statue and where there are also about 4 statues likely those of soldiers in arms). And yes, pretty much right in downtown, it's a "pretty vibrant" area right around this square with busy streets (also a "street market" lined with various vendors on both sides at just about a block away which I walked through to get here), and also for somewhat of a relaxation rather than just being on a square is its "big lawn" (the whole square pretty much grass-covered which is not too meticulous but more or less well-maintained). Arriving after the Union Buildings (where I was "quite awed" by its beautiful terraced-garden) and before heading to the Voortrekkers Monument, my only disappointment at this "second stop" on my day tour of Pretoria (after taking the Gautrain from Johannesburg) was not being able to find the Paul Kruger house museum which supposedly is just in the vicinity of this square.

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3.0
3.0 of 5 bubbles172 reviews
Excellent
18
Very good
35
Average
67
Poor
29
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23

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia26,775 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
In large European cities, the market square and the cathedral (church) were separated. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. But Pretoria was a small town, so the square was one and was called Church Square, because three churches stood on it consecutively from 1857 to 1905, the last of which was the Verenigde Kerk demolished in 1905. The church was not restored, perhaps because the victorious British didn`t want to create a center of ideological consolidation of the defeated but not surrendered Boers. So it turned out to be a Church square without a church. The square is surrounded by several historically and architecturally significant buildings, the Old Capitol Theater, the Tudor Chambers, the Ou Raadsaal (Old Council Chamber) and the Post Office. However, the most notable is the Palace of Justice, where Mandela and other ANC revolutionaries were tried and sentenced during the historic Rivonia trial. The dominant feature of the square is the statue of President Kruger in a tall hat and with a cane established in the early years of apartheid in 1954. During my visit, the pedestal with Kruger was surrounded by a fence. Probably in order to fight the coronavirus.... I found myself in this square twice in the early morning after arriving in Pretoria and in the middle of the next day. The public in the early morning is not disposed to linger here. Many beggars. Everything is fine during the day. The usual audience for the central square of the city.
Written November 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Annette Scheepers
Nufringen, Germany25 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Family
Beautiful place, with amazing old buildings surrounding it. There is a lot of historical value here, and every monument has a story to tell.
Written March 20, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deon L
Auckland, New Zealand98 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013
Some nice old buildings to photograph. But that is it. Do not expect great shopping or good food in this area. Watch out for muggers.
Written June 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

irmyss
Mexico City, Mexico3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Solo
Church square is NOT safe full of 'Car guards' who ask you money for taking care of you car.
Today they ask me 100 rand for parking I took 20 rand for my pocket and gave to them
This guys were very upset wanted 100 rand when I refused to paid the 100 rand. One guy put half of his body thought my window and took my car keys , I hold his hand we were fighting for the keys and nobody help me. this was in front of the old dutch building now the tourist information where were to guys standing there but not reaction to help me
So don't go there!
Written August 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TWal1
Canberra, Australia2,897 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Couples
We visiited Church Square as part of a half day tour of Pretoria. The square has a number of significant historic buildings. The area is dirty and there is a need to exercise a high degree of awareness of your surroundings as petty theft and parking scams are prevalent. Our guide had two gold chains snatched from her neck right in front of us. This theft was done rapidly by an experienced thief. This was not a welcoming impression of South Africa (fortunately things got better quickly). While not wanting to alarm fellow travellers unnecessarily, exercising caution and personal safety is warranted.
Thanks for your vote if you found this review helpful.
Written October 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The Flying Spaniard
Sofia, Bulgaria2,445 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Friends
It is good to walk in the central square of Pretoria. Nice place, several historical points, but one day is enough for the city.
Written June 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andre A
Sao Paulo, SP80 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Solo
So I have free time and decided to go there as it is free. You can spend half and hour going around but, please, don’t go at night.
Written October 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sachin K
New York City, NY5,857 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Family
The Church Square in Pretoria is not well maintained and the surrounding area doesn't appear safe. Still worth a quick photostop while in Pretoria.
Written August 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chipfat22
Norfolk, UK94 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
We walked from the Union building to Church Square and felt the city had seen better days. However, having seen pictures and read the positive reviews in our guidebook we kept walking on to this pedestrianised, cultural and social city centre surrounded by classic 19th century architecture. Judging by the rather dilapidated state of many of the modern buildings on our way, Church Square was now becoming to us (in our minds eye) an oasis of good taste and sophistication. This misinformed perception was well and truely laid bare when hit with the reality of a building site, no facilities and surrounded by fellow shell shocked tourist wandering around in a stupified daze looking at their travel guides and then up at the complete wreckage that is Church Square. Coffee in the open air? No chance, and I wouldn't risk it anyway. This is a well crime watch place. Enter one of the 'run of the mill' 19th buildings no way, they are NOT art galleries or museums. Your only hope is to dash off somewhere else away from the Square ASAP. I hope it will look better after the building work but a lot more needs to be done than laying new paving slabs. The whole area needs a lot of 'gentrification' to get above the crime watch bomb site we saw. Give this one a miss.
Written August 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marleon2
Tilburg, The Netherlands172 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Friends
As such the square has nice building from a long time gone. For us, it was a kind of creepy experience as we were harassed by persons clearly under influence. Nobody seems to care what was happening, which made the visit a bit creepy.
Written August 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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