What’s new at the Voortrekker Monument:

Voortrekker monument

The management team at the Voortrekker Monument wants to thank you for your continued support throughout the years. We have recently undergone various changes, and we want to share some exciting news with you and make sure you are up to date on all the goings-on that have recently occurred.

A brief summary of the new developments:

  1. Our new museum exhibit – Vrijheidsreis
  2. Re-route the traffic inside the monument
  3. Educational days
  4. Exciting dates
  5. New Guidebook QR Code
  6. WhatsApp line
  7. Opening times
  1. What is new inside the monument? Our brand new museum exhibit – Vrijheidsreis!

In the Cenotaph Hall:

In the Cenotaph Hall some of the personal belongings of Voortrekkers, as well as eight lanterns of Blood River wagon laager have been installed.

The Johanna van der Merwe ox wagon, named after the daughter who survived Bloukrans, and the Laas wagon are on display. The Laas wagon is the second oldest ox wagon in the country and was built by Voortrekker leader Gerrit Maritz. It is also the only wagon that was at the Battle of Blood River that survived.

Grietjie, the legendary kanon, found a stand in the Cenotaph Hall.

A new addition in the Cenotaph Hall is a stained-glass panel of the Vow that the Voortrekkers made in 1838. As part of the experience in the Cenotaph Hall, beloved Psalms and Hymns of the Voortrekkers continuously play, creating the perfect ambience.

Our brand new exhibition: Vrijheidsreis!

On the third floor, the old museum was transformed into three corridors in which the Vrijheidreis was interpreted.

The journey begins in the flag hall where an old Natalia flag, donated by Nico Moolman, greets the explorer on the road to “vrijheid”. Along with this, the republican flags are also on display and are seen as an exclamation mark against dominance.

What used to be a storeroom has been converted into the Gerhard Moerdijk and WH Coetzer halls where the construction, development of the frieze panels and inauguration of the Voortrekker Monument are depicted.

As you make your way on this journey to freedom, note the mountains on the trek road. They were collecting points and beacons for the Voortrekkers. Renowned landscape painter Gerrit Pitout painted six panels of mountains on the trek road in his distinctive Pierneef style. At each mountain, a contemporary word field was installed to make the beacons of the greatest historical story easier to understand, explain and tell.

There are numerous examples of see-through connections to which the Vrijheidsreis vertically confirms the monument.

In the frieze panel, Piet Retief’s table is depicted. The frieze panel highlights the moment King Dingane signs the purchase contract. In the new exhibition, Retief’s original table on which the purchase contract was concluded, is on display.

Retief’s knapsack is pictured on the frieze panel. In the knapsack, Retief’s prayer book was with the contract. His prayer book, soaked with his blood, is also to be seen in the new exhibition.

The frieze panel of Sarel Cilliers standing on the canon Grietjie, while making the Covenant, is also confirmed on the second floor, where you can see the canon, as well as in the new exhibition, where the Covenant is read in original Dutch and the Covenant Psalm is sung.

In another frieze panel, the Church of the Covenant is built. In the Cenotaph Hall, the Church of the Covenant was depicted in stained glass and in the new exhibition, a replica of the finished Church of the Covenant is on display.

  1. Re-direction of movement inside the Monument:

With these changes to the museum, we have decided to re-route the traffic through the monument. Guests enter on the Hall of Heroes, where they can proceed to the outlook point (by stairs or lift), proceed to the Cenotaph Hall, walk through Vrijheidsreis and then exit the monument through the kiosk. Here the guest can proceed to walk through the Historical Trek-route garden or inside the wall to the front.

  1. Educational days

On 15 July 2022, we hosted an educational day for all guides. An in-depth tour of the friezes explaining small nuances and details was presented. A tour of the new Vrijheidsreis exhibition was presented to allow all guides to educate their guests. At the restaurant, we had traditional roosterkoek and koeksisters. This was followed by a tour through Fort Schanskop and the day was concluded with a cocktail on the outlook point at the monument. If you want to register for the next educational day, contact [email protected] for more information.

  1. Exciting Dates – make a note in your diary!
  • NB! 29 August – 2 September Please take note, from 29 August to 2 September, the monument will be closed. However, the Fort and all other amenities will still be open for visiting.
  • 3-4 September:  4x4 Expo
  • 24 September – Heritage day   Like always, we will celebrate heritage day with a traditional food fair, live music and dance.
  • 6-8 October – Aardklop is here!
  • 24 September the Antique Fair
  1. New Guidebook QR Code

We recently launched a brand new guidebook, filled with information on the monument, the new museum and “inside information” on a few aspects. This is available in Afrikaans, English, French, Mandarin, German, Dutch, Zulu and Sepedi. Guests can use a QR code to download the guide in their language of choice – free of charge. A printed version is available for R300.00 at the Info centre.

 

  1. WhatsApp line

A new feature in our office is our WhatsApp line! You can send us a message to book a meal or inform us that you are on your way – all in one message. The number is 027 69 208 4184.

  1. Opening times

The monument is open from 08:00 – 17:30 every day.