President Paul Kruger lays the foundation stone of the Raadsaal on Pretoria’s Church Square



Monday, 6 May 1889

Church Square, which was initially called Market Square, was home to the first church built in Pretoria, which burnt down in 1882.  The square's current layout was designed by Vivian S. Rees-Poole in 1912, to imitate London's Trafalgar Square and Paris' Place de la Concorde.

Church Square marks what used to be the centre of Pretoria, and what is now home to many historically significant buildings, such as the Ou Raadsaal (Council Chamber), which stands on the south western corner of Church Square.

On 6 May 1889, South African President Paul Kruger laid the foundation stone of the Raadsaal, which was designed in a classical style by Sytze Wopke Wierda. The building was first used in May of 1890, and has since housed all levels of government. The building was also used as the governmental seat of the British for a short time.

The building currently houses the offices of the Municipal management team, and has been declared a National Monument.


  1. Wallis, F. (2000) Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.
  2. "Ou Raadsaal" [online], available at [accessed 27 April 2009]

Last updated : 04-May-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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