Ou Raadsaal

Pretoria Church Square, Pretoria South Africa
Ou Raadsaal
RSA Pretoria 2.jpg
The Ou Raadsaal from Church Square
Ou Raadsaal is located in South Africa
Ou Raadsaal
Location within South Africa
General information
Architectural styleRenaissance Revival
LocationChurch Square, Pretoria
CountrySouth Africa
Coordinates25°44′50″S 28°11′16″E / 25.74722°S 28.18778°E / -25.74722; 28.18778
Construction startedFebruary 1889
CompletedDecember 1891
Cost£82,500 GBP
Design and construction
ArchitectSytze Wierda
Main contractorJohn Johnstone Kirkness

The Ou Raadsaal (English: Old Council Hall) is a historic building in Pretoria, South Africa, located on the south side of Church Square. The Ou Raadsaal housed the Volksraad, the parliament of the South African Republic, from 1891 to 1902.[1]

The Ou Raadsaal was commissioned in the late 19th century by the South African Republic as the new seat of government in Pretoria, and was designed by Dutch architect Sytze Wierda in a Renaissance Revival style. The contract for construction was granted to John Johnstone Kirkness, a builder from the Orkney Islands with a prolific building career in the region, at a sum of £82,500. Construction began in February 1889 with the cornerstone laid by President Paul Kruger on 6 May that year, and the work was completed in December 1891. The Transvaal Museum was established in 1892 in the upper floor of Ou Raadsaal, but was soon moved to a separate location when the room was deemed too small for the collection.[2] In 1902, the South African Republic was annexed by the United Kingdom after its defeat in the Second Boer War, abolishing the Volksraad, and the Ou Raadsaal became vacant.

In 1999, the Ou Raadsaal was declared a Provincial Heritage Site and is protected in terms of Section 34 of the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999), as it is over 60 years old. The building is also known in English as the Old Council Chamber or Old Government Building, and in Afrikaans as the Republikeinse Raadsaal.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2010-05-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07312008-162932/unrestricted/02context-analysis.pdf