The northern Free State town of Winburg is steeped in Afrikaner history. Winburg was the first Free State town established by the Voortrekkers. Originally Winburg was intended as the site of the Voortrekker Monument. After the honour went to Pretoria, Winburg got its wish and a second monument was constructed in the 1960s.
The sombre, symbolic stone monument bears the names of the Voortrekker leaders: Piet Uys, Andries Hendrik Potgieter, Andries Pretorius, Piet Retief and Gerrit Maritz. The lengths of the monument’s five tiers correspond to the distances travelled by the respective Voortrekker parties.
Like its counterpart in Pretoria, on December 16 the sun passes directly over the monument and illuminates a plaque with biblical inscriptions. Those interested in Voortrekker history should also visit the cemetery.
The monument was designed by Hans Hallen.
Presently the entrance gates towards the site is locked, the monument abandoned and the landscape overgrown. A network of trenches ruptures the ground where electrical cables were unearthed by the locals and the water channels that lead toward the river remain unmaintained. The bronze plaque in the centre of the Monument has also been stolen – diminishing the seriousness of any other vandalism that occurs on the site.