PAUL KRUGER HOUSE MUSEUM
The house was built in 1884, the architect being Tom Claridge from the Orange Free State and the builder Charles Clark, from Pretoria. Milk instead of water was used for mixing the cement, because at that time the cement was of poor quality.
It was one of the first homes in Pretoria to be lit by electricity. The unusual brass switches, of German make and marked Dunkel-Licht, are said to be those installed originally. They were manufactured by Siemens & Schuckert and probably installed by them.
The ceiling in the President's reception room has been redecorated in its original white and gold colours.
The carpet in the President's reception room is similar to that which covered the floor in Kruger's day. The present carpet was woven in 1974 (previous one 1933) by the same London company that supplied the original.
The Kruger house is a house museum, i.e. it attempts to recreate the ambience of a historic period, event or person. The house has been refurbished to look almost as it did at the time when President Paul and Mrs Gezina Kruger's lived there.
An almost total historic environment has been recreated. Visitors to Kruger House should feel as though the President or Mrs Kruger might return at any moment.
The furnishing plan has been based on a thorough study of the available evidence of original furnishings. In accordance with this several changes have recently been made to the interior, not as a curatorial whim, but with a view to give the visitor a more accurate conception of the life style of the Krugers.
OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
The flag seen in front of the house is that of the South African Republic (ZAR), that is the Transvaal. It is generally called the Vierkleur. The flag was hoisted by sentries at 6 o'clock every morning and struck at sundown during Krugers' residence.
The Lions on the verandah were given to President Kruger as a birthday gift on 10 October 1896 by Barney Barnato, the mining magnate.
INSIDE THE HOUSE
Mrs Kruger's reception room
In the corner where Gezina did her sewing is a special table that contained her sewing necessities. A needlework box with the Colosseum on the lid which was presented to the museum by Gezina's granddaughter can also be seen.
President's reception room
The President received a constant flow of visitors in this room so the double suite of furniture is not superfluous.
The room contains many important pieces, such as:
-The table at which many famous people had talks during the years, for example John X Merriman, Cecil John Rhodes, M T Steyn, Henry Stanley, Mark Twain and many others
-Satuettes presented to Kruger by the scholars of the schools in Charlemagne, France
-A bronze-gilded eagle: given after the failure of the Jameson raid by a group of Irish-Americans (from Chicago) under Colonel Blake
-The harmonium used by the family during their devotions
-the wrought-iron heater
-The oil painting of Kruger by Adamson
There are two rooms at the western end of the passage. The President retired to the inner room when he was in need of meditation. The front room was mostly used by the secretary. It contains one of the first telephones to be installed in Pretoria in 1891.
The large wardrobe was originally used in the house by the Krugers. A kist in front of bed contained some of President's personal effects.
Used by children and grandchildren when visiting, as well as other guests.
Little is left of the original furniture but the room has been re-furnished in the same way in which is was in Kruger's day.
The French doors lead to the back verandah and kitchen from where meals were served.
Pantry The pantry has been furnished with utensils typical of the period, e.g. a sieve netting cupboard, plates, dishes, moulds, etc
Tel (27)(0)12 326 9172
Fax (27)(0)12 328 5173
Cell (27) (0)82 754 0943
60 Church Street
opposite Kruger Church
1 km west of Church Square
PO Box 28088