When President Mandela was inaugurated at the Union Buildings on 10 May 1994, Pretoria became both the birthplace of a new nation and a symbol of its unity.
The city is accustomed to hosting important happenings in South African history. Since its earliest days, 1855, the name Pretoria has been synonymous with government. As long ago as 1910, it was chosen as the administrative capital of the country.
Today Pretoria is a rapidly growing modern city whose inhabitants reflect South Africa's rainbow nation. As part of the greater metropolitan area of Pretoria with a population of 1.6 million, Pretoria is one of the largest municipalities in area in the world. The city is centrally situated with 26 % of the population of the country living within a 200 km radius. With this ideal location, Pretoria is the gateway to Africa and to the northern areas of our country.
The capital has a lot to offer visitors. Perhaps it is best known as the Jacaranda City. An annual highlight is in October, the loveliest month, when more than 70 000 jacaranda trees bloom.
With its varied and colourful history, Pretoria is a culturally active city. Fine museums, historic houses, buildings and monuments reflect many facets of South African history. A new addition to the city's cultural treasures is Museum Park, a chain of museums. This makes it the largest focal point of cultural resources in Africa.
Pretoria is also an academic centre of South Africa. It has the most tertiary and research institutions in the country, including the University of South Africa.
One of the most pleasant features of Pretoria is its temperature climate with sunshine throughout the year. Summers are hot, while winters are dry and mild. Rain occurs mostly in summer with late afternoon thunder and lightning storms.
Situated within Gauteng Province, Pretoria is only 50 km from Johannesburg International Airport, and 60 km from Johannesburg.
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