Union Buildings

From Academic Kids

The Union Buildings are situated on Meintjies Kop, Pretoria, and form the official seat of the South African government. They contain the offices of the President of South Africa. They are probably best remembered as the place where South Africa's first democratically-elected president, Nelson Mandela, was inaugurated in May 1994.

These buildings, built from light sandstone, were designed by the architect Sir Herbert Baker in the English monumental style and are 275 m long. They have a half-round shape, with the two wings at the sides representing the Afrikaans and English parts of the population.

The cornerstone was laid in November 1910, shortly after the Union of South Africa — for which the buildings are named — was formed. Taking 1,265 workers over three years to build, the structure was completed in 1913 at a total cost of 1,310,640 for the building and 350,000 for the site.

Also notable are the gardens, planted exclusively with indigenous plants, surrounding the buildings as well as the 9,000 seat amphitheatre.af:Uniegeboue

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