It began as a river valley settlement around the year 1600, but the city itself was officially founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, who named it after his father Andries Pretorius.
Today, the city is known for being South Africa's administrative capital, for its architecture, as a central Afrikaner city, for its diversity, business district, gardens, natural beauty, purple Jacaranda trees, and universities.
People Born in Pretoria
Pretoria in People's Lives
Oscar Pistorius: Though I was born in Johannesburg, and moved here when I was about ten in 1996, I consider this city to be my home. I attended middle and high school here, already becoming consumed by sports. I played rugby for my high school, and also played tennis, and did Olympic wrestling. While playing rugby, I had a serious knee injury in 2003, at the age of 17, and was unable to play that game, or wrestling, while I recovered. In early 2004, I was introduced to the sport of running, and "never looked back." I soon had running blades made for my legs, which would later earn me the nickname of "Blade Runner." I attended the University of Pretoria from about 2005 - 2007, with studies often cut short by heavy athletic training and events. In November of 2012, I began dating model Reeva Steenkamp. On Valentine's Day in February 2013, I shot her six times in my home here, killing her. A long, tense and exhausting trial followed, watched by the entire world. During this time, my sponsorships were all dropped, and my house in this city was sold in June. My athletic training stopped. I was convicted, and sentenced to five years in jail. I am now being held at a prison within the city limits.
Reeva Steenkamp: Moving to this city around 2009 to pursue my modeling career, I felt that I had a dream life. My modeling career was taking off, I began filming for TV shows and walking into red carpet events, and I began dating the handsome Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius in November of 2012. However, on Valentine's Day of 2013, my boyfriend and I had a fight at his home, after which I hid in the bathroom. Through the door, he shot me six times in a fit of rage, and I was killed, at the age of 29.