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 the central part of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality which was formed by the amalgamation of several former local authorities including Centurion and Soshanguve). There have been proposals to change the name of Pretoria itself to Tshwane, and the proposed name change has caused some controversy.
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.
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.
Pretoria railway station is the central station in Pretoria, the executive capital of South Africa. It is located between Pretoria's central business district and Salvokop, in a 1910 building designed by Herbert Baker. It is the terminus of various Metrorail commuter rail services in the northern part of Gauteng, and a stop on Shosholoza Meyl inter-city services from Johannesburg to Polokwane and Nelspruit. Pretoria is also the northern terminus of the luxury Blue Train service from Cape Town. Platforms and tracks for the Gautrain rapid-rail service are adjacent to the main-line station.
The first railway station in Pretoria was built in 1892 by the Netherlands-South African Railway Company (NZASM) as the western terminus of its line to the harbour of Delagoa Bay (now Maputo). In 1910, shortly before the creation of the Union of South Africa, the government of the Transvaal Colony decided to spend excess funds on constructing a new station for Pretoria, rather than surrendering the money to the new national government. The new station was the first public building designed by Herbert Baker.
Coordinates: 47°05.36′N 90°23.66′W / 47.08933°N 90.39433°W / 47.08933; -90.39433
The American ship Pretoria was one of the largest wooden ships ever constructed. The Pretoria was a schooner-barge, and 103 meters (338 ft) long, 13.4 meters (44 ft) wide and 7 meters (23 ft) in depth.
It was a barge built for use on the Great Lakes by James Davidson in West Bay City, Michigan. The Saginaw, Michigan newspaper The Courier-Herald described the Pretoria's launch on July 26, 1900 in the following way:
The Pretoria will carry 5,000 tons of iron ore, 175,000 bushels of wheat, or 300,000 bushels of oats...
To strengthen its wooden frame and hull, the Pretoria included steel keelson plates, steel chords, and steel arches. It was also diagonally strapped with steel. It needed a donkey engine to run a pump to keep its interior dry.
The Pretoria sank in a storm in 1905. The ship was sunk during the same storm which sank another notable ship, the Sevona. Ironically, the Sevona received her cargo load shortly after the Pretoria, at the very same dock in Superior. Both ships would be shipwrecked the very next day near the Apostle Islands, when a legendary gale would send them to the bottom of the lake.
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