Pretoria and Bethlehem

2009-06-12 16:00:00

Pretoria and Bethlehem

Country: South Africa
Date of Agreement:14 April 1999
Name of Mayor: Jan Van Zyl
Tel: 0027 12 3087410
Fax: 0027 12 3235117
Address: P.O.Box 440 , Pretoria 0001 South Africa

Pretoria, is a city in northeastern South Africa, in the Gauteng Province, on the Apies River. Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and a major commerical, manufacturing, transportation, and cultural center. Principal products include iron and steel, processed food, ceramics, and chemicals.

The modern city is well planned and contains large parks and a number of landmarks commemorating its history. Pretoria is the site of the University of South Africa (1873), the University of Pretoria (1908), a technical college, the State Library, and government archives. Places of interest include the home of Paul Kruger, president of the South African Republic (the Transvaal) from 1883 to 1900, the Transvaal Museum, containing natural history displays; the Municipal Art Gallery, featuring South African art, the Pretoria Art Museum, with a collection of 17th-century Dutch art, the National Cultural History and Open-Air Museum, with a variety of collections, the Military Museum, which is located in Fort Schanskop (built 1867), and the National Zoological Gardens.

The town was established by Marthinus W. Pretorius in 1855 and named in honor of his father, Andries W. J. Pretorius, the Boer soldier and statesman. It became the capital of the South African Republic in 1860. The Peace of Vereeniging, ending the Boer War, was signed here in 1902. When the Union of South Africa was organized in 1910, Pretoria was designated the seat of its administration, a position it retained after the Republic of South Africa was formed in 1961.

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