The first church in Pretoria was built on this site. The current layout was designed by Vivian S. Rees-Poole in 1912 and was meant to imitate London's Trafalgar Square and Paris' Place de la Concorde. The best known feature of Church Square is the large bronze statue of former president Paul Kruger. Mr. Sammy Marks commissioned the statue of Paul Kruger and it was sculpted by Anton van Wouw. Although it was cast in Italy near the turn of the century, it was only erected on the square in 1954. The Square is surrounded by many historic buildings, some having been erected as early as 1891. The old Raadsaal (council chambers), Centenary Building, Netherlands Bank and others are amongst the famous buildings. Another famous building in the vicinity is The Palace of justice, where sseveral high profile cases were held, including the well known Rivonia trial of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners in 1964. It was during this trial that Nelson Mandela was sent to life imprisonment.
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