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From Kruger House go back to Paul Kruger Street, and turn right. At the end you will find the station that was built by the ZAR government as part of Paul Kruger’s dream to have a railroad to a harbour that was not controlled by the British. From here the rail was built at a great cost, also in human life, to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo ) for the export of ZAR gold and the import of strategic goods. Later it was to serve as escape route for Kruger’s fleeing government before the occupation of Pretoria. The presidential coach in which he fled is still to be seen at Kruger House.
President Kruger took with him the mint on which the famous Kruger Pounds were minted and also all the state’s gold reserves. The mint was taken off the train in the Lowveldt but the gold was never found.
Across the road in front off the station, is the sad sight of the once proud Victoria Hotel. Dating from the same period, it was used by the British to house the General Staff. The writer hereof had the opportunity to visit the hotel in 1970 when it was practically in the same condition as new. It was beautifully furnished with woodwork in the same style as that of the Ou Raadsaal and the original bar where the Generals drank still in use. Today it is the sad victim of urban decay, despite a valiant attempt a couple of years ago by Rovos Rail to turn the tide.
From there, drive down to Jacob Mare Street, where you can see Melrose House and Burghers Park . Melrose House, the property of a wealthy businessman, Heys, was sequestered for the use of Lord Milner, and the peace agreement reached by the opposing forces was finally signed at Melrose House in 1902.