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.

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Church Square

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

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

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia33,762 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 10 November 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.

Myo M
Coquitlam, Canada26,561 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 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.
Written 9 November 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.

ANDRE V
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
The stench of urine in air does not make it attractive at all. Ended up saving a women (tourist) handbag who got mugged whilst visiting the square whilst the thief ran past 3 security guards doing nothing at all!! - another day in SA....(sad)
Written 10 October 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.

The Flying Spaniard
Sofia, Bulgaria2,691 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 23 June 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.

The Flying Spaniard
Sofia, Bulgaria2,691 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
It is good to walk in the central square of Pretoria. There is a statue in the middle, representing Kruger, the former president. This place is a must see.
Written 27 February 2020
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.

Primestop
Braunton, UK344 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
While central Pretoria isn't particularly picturesque, Church Square is architecturally spendid, making a visit into the centre of the city worthwhile. Plenty of on-street parking (max 1 hour) and several multi-storey car parks - my 2 hours cost 5 rand.
Written 23 November 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.

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 11 October 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.

Matt C
Tamworth, UK17 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Friends
This place is lovely to see but didn’t feel particularly safe to walk around alone. There were a lot of loiterers making it feel unsafe however the architecture was amazing to see
Written 8 October 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.

Lawrence
Johannesburg, South Africa74 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
seeing The layout of how Old Pretoria was formed . . Paul Kruger and his soulders .. old building and just around is the Palace of Justice
Written 1 October 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.

njcavalier
Chatham, NJ393 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
This central square is surrounded by beautiful buildings; at the center is a statue of Paul Kruger. Perhaps the most important building on the square, in terms of history if not functionally or architecturally, is the imposing Palace of Justice. It is here that Nelson Mandela was tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the so-called Rivonia trial in the 1960s. On our visit to Church Square, we were lucky enough to be given access to the Palace of Justice to visit the historic courtroom where Mandela was tried as well as the holding cell beneath the courtroom where he was kept during the trial.
Written 14 September 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.

Showing results 1-10 of 120
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Church Square - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

All Pretoria HotelsPretoria Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Pretoria
All things to do in Pretoria
Day Trips in Pretoria
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday homesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire