The Voortrekker Monument
The Voortrekker Monument is a massive granite monument designed by Gerhard Moerdyk and built as a national shrine to commemorate the Voortrekkers. Inside the monument is the Hall of Heroes, the four walls of which are decorated with an Italian marble fresco depicting the history of the Great Trek in 1838. The floor of the main hall is pierced by a large circular opening. This reveals the symbolic cenotaph of the Voortrekker leader, Piet Retief, and his men. Precisely at 12 noon on December 16, the Day of the Vow, a ray of sunlight falls through an aperture in the blue-domed ceiling to light up the inscription on the granite monolith below. In front of the monument is the Van Wouw statue of a Voortrekker mother and children. Four massive figures hewn from solid granite representing Piet Retief, Andries Pretorius, Hendrik Potgieter and the unknown Voortrekker, are mounted as sentries at each corner of the monument. Surrounding the edifice is a wall carved to represent a laager of full-size wagons. In the museum at the Voortrekker Monument ten wall tapestries, designed by Mr W.H. Coetzer, and to which nine women devoted eight years may be seen. The purpose of the tapestries is to express the desire to do homage to the heroic deeds of the Great Trek.
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