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Interestin City

In addition to its own sights and attractions, Centurion’s central location also provides opportunities to comfortably visit interesting places in the whole of Gauteng. The sights and attractions mentioned here represent only a very small percentage of what is on offer in Centurion and CenturioNet plans to extend the information on this page considerably.

Irene Camp Graveyard
Smuts House
Rooihuiskraal Historical Terrainn
Air Force Memorial
Porcinarium
SA Mint and Coin World
Centurion Art Gallery

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Irene Camp Cemetery

This cemetery dates from the Anglo-South African War at the beginning of the 1900's, when British forces destroyed the farms of the Boer soldiers and many women and children were left homeless. A concentration camp was established in Irene and from 1901 refugees were housed here in tents under extremely poor conditions. By the end of 1901, more than 800 of the refugees in the camp had already died.

The camp was extended and eventually housed 4500 men, women and children. It was closed in 1903, a year after the declaration of peace.

It is alleged that more than 2000 people were buried in the cemetery, although the list of names only contain some 1149 names. A name plaque with the figure of 2156 was later found. Only 800 heaps of soil, indicating graves, could be found.

The 80 memorial stones in the cemetery contain all the names on the list of names.

View of the Irene Camp Cemetery
IreneCamp Cemetery - some of the names

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Smuts House

Statue of Jan Smuts in front of Smuts House

The museum is open daily, while the visitor may also hike up the hill behind the house to the top of the hill. Gen. Smuts hiked this route every day.

A tea garden operates from the house and regular botanical and birding excursions start from the museum.

Smuts house was the home of Gen. Jan Christiaan Smuts, a former Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa and it situated on the farm Doornkloof. The building was originally used as an officer's mess in Middelburg in the Mpumalanga province during the Anglo-South African War (1899 - 1902). After the war Gen. Smuts bought the steel construction and erected it on his farm.

Today it is a museum that depicts the unpretentious lifestyle of this international statesman.

Smuts House
Craft Market at Smuts House

A very popular craft market is held every second and last Saturday of the month on the site of the museum.

    Telephone: +27 (012) 667-1176

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Rooihuiskraal Historical Terrain

The battle of Rooihuiskraal in 1881 is considered to be one of the most significant battles of the First War of Freedom. Only one British soldier died here and 15 were wounded during the battle. One of the wounded was Lt. Col. Gildea, or as die Boers called him, the "Blasted Colonel".

The battle started after the Boer forces cornered he British Garrison in Pretoria. The British decided to escape via Rooihuiskraal to join forces with Gen George Colley in Natal. The Boers heard of this and entrenched themselves behind the stone wall surrounding the animal stockade. Col. Gildea encouraged his men by standing upright in his stirrups. A bullet from the Boers hit Gildea in the backside and thus dealt the British morale a serious blow.

Stone wall at Rooihuiskraal

The ruins of the stone wall around the stockade still exist as a reminder of this historic battle. Rooihuiskraal was declared a National Monument.

Old barn at Rooihuiskraal

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Air Force Memorial


This memorial was erected on Bays Hill next to the Swartkop Air Force Base and offers a view of the base. The South African Air Force was established here in 1922.

Embleem by Lugmaggedenkteken

It was erected in memory of the some 3 000 members of the Air Force who died in war and during peacetime.

Lugmaggedenkteken

This building (six storeys high) is designed in the shape of a triangular star and consists of three wings. One if these is a neutral chapel for family services. A memorial hall and memorial stone on a scarlet red background takes up the centre.

The memorial also includes a garden of remembrance and an amphitheatre for 5 000 people. The wrought iron entrance gates were previously used at the old SAAF memorial in Waterkloof.

Porcinarium

This is probably the only museum in the whole world  dedicated to pigs and is situated at the Agricultural Research Council's Institute for Animal Improvement. The institute is situated just outside of Irene.

The museum offers a review of the development of pig breeds in South Africa. It was opened in 1996 to coincide with the 40th birthday of the Pork Improvement Testing Scheme.

The museum is open during office hours and arrangements can be made for visits during weekends by telephoning +27 (012) 672-9235.

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S A Mint en Coin World

Promotional coin of Coin World
Lamp and gate pillar at SA Mint

The modern SA Mint dates back to the days of Paul Kruger when he bought a minting press from Germany in 1892. This was used to mint coins for the former “Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek”.

This press is still in working order and can be seen at the museum, Coin World, of the SA Mint in Gateway.

The mint is a private enterprise and also mints coins for countries like New Zealand, Argentina and Swaziland.

The museum houses a shop where jewellery may be bought and it is open seven days of the week. Guided tours of the facilities, lasting some two hours, can also be arranged.

Telephone: +27 (012) 677-2777
Website: www.samint.co.za

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Centurion Art Gallery

Artists exhibit their paintings, pottery and sculpture in the gallery for a duration of two weeks, during which the works are for sale.

For a programme of planned exhibitions, see Calendar.

Telephone: +27 (012) 358-3477
Fax: +27 (0)12 664-7131

Physical Address:
Cnr Cantonments Road & Unie Ave,
Lyttelton Manor
Centurion

Visiting Hours:
Monday to Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays

Heritage City

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Sources

We acknowledge and thank the following sources:

  • Centurion Stadsraad Dienstegids
  • Brochure of the Centurion Art Gallery

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