Pretoria is a city in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government. (Cape Town is the legislative capital and Bloemfontein the judicial capital).
Pretoria is named after the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius, and within South Africa is popularly known as the Jacaranda City due to the thousands of Jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens.
|POPULATION :||City: 741,651 / Metro: 2,921,488|
|TIME ZONE :||EAT (UTC+3)|
|LANGUAGE :||Afrikaans 47.7% , English 16.4% , Northern Sotho 8.0%, Tswana 5.4%, Other 22.5%|
|RELIGION :||Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 18.8%|
|AREA :||687.54 km2 (265.46 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||1,339 m (4,393 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||25°44′46″S 28°11′17″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.50% |
• Female: 51.50%
|ETHNIC :||White 52.5% , Black African 42.0%, Coloured 2.5%, Indian/Asian 1.9%, Other 1.2%|
|AREA CODE :||012|
|POSTAL CODE :||0002|
|DIALING CODE :||+27 12|
Pretoria has over the years had very diverse cultural influences and this is reflected in the architectural styles that can be found in the city. It ranges from 19th century Dutch, German and British Colonial Architecture to modern, postmodern, neomodern, and art deco architecture styles with a good mix of a uniquely South African style.
Pretoria is home to the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa as well as the Pretoria National Botanical Garden. There are also a number of smaller parks and gardens located throughout the city, including the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, Pretorius Square gardens, the Pretoria Rosarium, Church Square, Pretoria Showgrounds, Springbok Park, Freedom Park, and Burgers Park, the oldest park in the city and now a national monument.
Pretoria is home to an extensive portfolio of public art. A diverse and evolving city, Pretoria boasts a vibrant art scene and a variety of works that range from sculptures to murals to pieces by internationally and locally renowned artists. The Pretoria Art Museum is home to a vast collection of local artworks.
Pretoria was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius and chose a spot on the banks of the "Apies rivier" (Afrikaans for "Monkeys river") to be the new capital of the South African Republic (ZAR).
The elder Pretorius had become a national hero of the Voortrekkers after his victory over the Dingane and the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River. The elder Pretorius also negotiated the Sand River Convention (1852), in which Britain acknowledged the independence of the Transvaal. It became the capital of the South African Republic (ZAR) on 1 May 1860.
The founding of Pretoria as the capital of the South African Republic can be seen as marking the end of the Boers' settlement movements of the Great Trek.
During the First Boer War, the city was besieged by Republican forces in December 1880 and March 1881. The peace treaty which ended the war was signed in Pretoria on 3 August 1881 at the Pretoria Convention.
The Second Boer War resulted in the end of the Transvaal Republic and start of British hegemony in South Africa. The city surrendered to British forces under Frederick Roberts on 5 June 1900 and the conflict was ended in Pretoria with the signing of the Peace of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902.
The Boer Republics of the ZAR and the Orange River Colony were united with the Cape Colony and Natal Colony in 1910 to become the Union of South Africa. Pretoria then became the administrative capital of the whole of South Africa, with Cape Town the legislative capital. Between 1910 and 1994, the city was also the capital of the province of Transvaal. (As the capital of the ZAR, Pretoria had superseded Potchefstroom in that role.)
On 14 October 1931, Pretoria achieved official city status. When South Africa became a republic in 1961, Pretoria remained its administrative capital.
The city has a humid subtropical climate with long hot rainy summers and short cool to cold,dry winters.
The city experiences the typical winters of South Africa with cold, clear nights and mild to moderately warm days.
Although the average lows during winter are mild it can get bitterly cold due to the clear skies, with nighttime low temperatures in recent years in the range of 2C to -5C.
The average annual temperature is 18.7 °C (65.7 °F). This is rather high, considering the city's relatively high altitude of about 1339 metres, and is due mainly to its sheltered valley position, which acts as a heat trap and cuts it off from cool southerly and south-easterly air masses for much of the year.
Rain is chiefly concentrated in the summer months, with drought conditions prevailing over the winter months, when frosts may be sharp. Snowfall is an extremely rare event; snowflakes were spotted in 1959, 1968 and 2012 in the city, but the city has never experienced an accumulation in its history.
Pretoria is situated approximately 55 km (34 mi) north-northeast of Johannesburg in the northeast of South Africa, in a transitional belt between the plateau of the Highveld to the south and the lower-lying Bushveld to the north. It lies at an altitude of about 1,339 m (4,393 ft) above sea level, in a warm, sheltered, fertile valley, surrounded by the hills of the Magaliesberg range.
Pretoria is divided into 5 regions: Eastern, Southern, Central Western, North West and North East.
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