Whenever, though, in coming years, he explained the meaning and symbolism of the Monument, the religious taxonomy that inspired the form of the building always received prominent accentuation. He linked this aspect in the formation of the design inextricably to the soul of the building and its message. The architectural ideas that generated the building were thus infiltrated by a religious extrapolation.
This contribution engages the religious statement which this imposing building epitomised. It thus labours to map out the predominant religious idea or concept, according to the architect, that inspired and shaped the structure. As respected authority, the architect's thoughts and intentions in this regard should be given preference and are indeed decisive in the appraisal of the religious trajectories and intonation he allowed for in designing the Monument. A leading question therefore is the following: what was at the heart of this temple, the elevating religious idea that shaped the revered Voortrekker Monument, and in which the genesis of the Moerdyk design is seated?
The question is answered from a corpus of contemporary primary sources, of which the collection of Moerdyk Papers in the Merensky Library at the University of Pretoria, as well as the private collections of E. Jansen and J. The author is responsible for all translations of texts. The author does not endorse offensive language used by original sources. When the movement to erect a Voortrekker Monument was formally organised and gained momentum in the early s, it was clear that Moerdyk's proposal for such a memorial would be considered. He was a protuberant public figure, a leader in the Afrikaner community, a member of the South African Academy for Science and Art and would be elected in October as the chairperson of the Council of the University of Pretoria, a position he held until Artefacts n.
In addition, he already had designed a national monument to recall the fate and suffering of women and children in concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War At the occasion of the induction of the Women's Memorial, erected in the cemetery of the concentration camp in Klerksdorp, Moerdyk elucidated the national value of a memorial. As an architect of the memorial, he was invited to conduct its inauguration during an exceptional Dingaansdagviering [Dingane's Day celebration] on 16 December His address was published in the February edition of Die Banier Moerdijk , the journal published by the incepted Afrikaanse Studentebond Beukus For Moerdyk, a memorial or monument should be the manifestation of 'the own' of the history of the Afrikaner.
A pure creation in all respects divested of all that is foreign Moerdijk The purpose of a memorial is 'to keep our history alive: when we look at it, we need to experience the event again'. It is no longer tied to the events then and there, 'but to here and now. On the history, we build our future' Moerdijk At this point, he asked:. Is this the spirit of the sturdy Voortrekkers, who were the first to see the mountains and plains of South Africa and subjected the wilderness - a soulless little angel from Carrara?
We consist of stronger fabric. Take a rough piece of granite and write an inscription in unprocessed letters, but do it yourself as a nation, and it will reflect us purer than the imported angels. Moerdyk 5. Did he apply his views to the design of the Women's Monument? Made up of finely finished granite, his design is, however, deliberately fashioned to the classical Greek monumental ideal, to which he enthusiastically devoted the first part of his speech. Unlike the Roman Empire, which has disappeared in history, the temples of the Greeks endured, he informed the audience, 'and inspired all, viewing them' Moerdijk White, Moerdyk explained, is the symbol of the purity and innocence of the woman.
The middle piece consists of four columns, connected with an arch. Therefore, he indicated, four columns were placed at the corners, because the woman had carried the brunt of the Anglo-Boer War. Together with the male form, they support a little 'temple of love'. Eventually, Moerdyk remarked, he would like to see the figure of a child placed in the temple, as a symbol of the descendants for whom the sacrifice was made Moerdijk Despite the emphasis on the 'own' in history, and the appeal for its consequential embodiment in indigenous memorials, Moerdyk's Women's Monument clearly resembles the universality and perpetuity of Greek architecture.
He knowingly incorporated the fundamental religious nature a 'temple of love' inherent to Greek architecture. His admiration for the Greek architecture should be traced to the classical embroidered education he received at the Architectural Association in London between and His initial exposure and access to the world of architecture had thus been decisively influenced by an orientation to the classical, in any case, as it was interpreted by the British Empire, at the time at its peak. This is confirmed by a number of Moerdyk articles for the Journal of the Association of Transvaal Architects during , his book Kerkgeboue vir Suidafrika Moerdijk , the Klerksdorp Women's Memorial as well as his later publication Die geskiedenis van boukuns Moerdyk Characteristic of Moerdyk's work is a typical conceptualisation related to ancient and classical architecture.
A range of public buildings and churches still testify to this style Artefacts n. Despite the classical character of his work, Moerdyk, as a prominent architect, tirelessly promoted the development of a typical South African architectural style that should have its foundation, when explicating his ideas to the students of University of Pretoria in , in the character, aspirations, heritage and history of the Afrikaner nation, and thus postulates suitability, durability and effectiveness of the 'Afrikaans spirit'.
The movement to plan and manage the construction of an appropriate Voortrekker memorial offered the perfect opportunity to give physical form and expression to this endeavour. Moerdyk would participate, and was indeed asked to do so. Did he utilise the favourable moment to design a monument that would embody the typical of the Afrikaner, which would capture the 'Afrikaans spirit', in terms of 'a pure creation, in all respects divested of all that is foreign'?
Would the monument be shaped to accommodate the indigenous Christian religious orientation and spirituality of the Afrikaner? In the next section, the attention thus shifts to Moerdyk's proposed designs for a monument. Moerdyk's designs of a Voortrekker Monument.
The Central Voortrekker People's Monument Committee henceforth Central Committee , established in Anonymous , guided the planning and erection of this national project Jansen Substantially financed by a sympathetic South African government since , 9 a sub-committee the 'Form Committee' was appointed in January and assigned to invite all interested parties to submit designs and proposals for the envisaged monument.
After considering all submissions received, the Form Committee, at its meeting on 06 April , opted for Gerhard Moerdyk's design, provided that the Stellenbosch Pienaar-Bouman proposal of a laager of wagons be incorporated. The core of his design is a granite mausoleum that includes if so desired a sarcophagus in which the bones of Retief and those who died with him in February at the hand of Dingane could be reinterred. These were obviously key features peculiar to the ancient Egypt and Persia and classical Greek and Romanian architecture, and, in particular, associated with temples and religious comportment.
He also affirmed that the laager of wagons could be combined with his blueprint. It is this joint design that went on display at the Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg later that year. This was, however, not the first time that Moerdyk had the opportunity to discuss a design of the proposed monument with the Central Committee. It was also not his first design. Four years earlier, at its meeting on 14 April , he was welcomed by the Central Committee with the view of informing the members about his sketch of the envisaged monument.
In his design, religious trajectories were hidden that surfaced in his second proposal. In , Moerdyk assumed 'when he drafted the sketch' 16 that the monument would be erected at Blood River better known as Ncome River , that is, at the place where the actual battle took place in northern rural Kwazulu-Natal on 16 December It must be massive, yet simple, to procreate the characteristics of the Voortrekkers, he said. This assumption has determined the shape of his design.
Because the monument should be typical of Africa, it contains constituents of the Egyptian pyramid as well as the Zimbabwean ruins. The design, he pointed out, allows for two spacious halls, separated by a causeway. On one side, it is a mausoleum, which will contain the bones of Voortrekkers. On the other side, a museum is accommodated. On the walls, scenes from the history of the Great Trek would be presented in bas-relief at human height. The causeway in the middle is a symbolic representation of the passage that the white civilisation opened through the 'black savage populations' 17 into the interior.
During festival days, he exclaimed, a pot of peck and oil will burn. Around the building, an amphitheatre with rostrum will create space for celebrations and speeches. A depiction of this initial design exists. In January , the influential Pretoria paper, Die Vaderland , published a sketch of the envisaged monument that unmistakably delineates the minuted explanation.
It has typical Egyptian temple features, in particular those of the temple of Horus at Edfu, a structure which Moerdyk discussed in his book on the history of architecture Moerdyk and was thus well familiarised with it. Hence, it consisted of two trapezoidal pylons with walls sloping inwards, framing the prominent entrance. Inside is space for conservation of memorabilia from the Voortrek. There is a pulpit for festivities and between the two front pylons an urn in which will always burn a fire.
On the front gables and next to them and beyond will be sixteen bas-reliefs, depicting different scenes from the Voortrek. Die Vaderland b:7; see also Britz Duffey is of opinion that this design was made in collaboration with Moerdyk's long-time friend, sculptor Anton van Wouw Van Wouw, as a matter of fact, invited the Central Committee in to view a bas-relief of Piet Retief leaving the Cape Colony, which he designed on own initiative.
It should be an interpretation of the unwavering character of the Voortrekker, conjoining with the environment. He said:.
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The huge surfaces of the square needles must evoke the endless plains. They should remain undecorated, except for a panel each on the one side, of Retief and on the other side, of Andries Pretorius. Each must contain a room of say 40 by 60 feet. Inside should be a sarcophagus with the bones of Voortrekkers and around on the walls incidents from history in bas-relief. On the stairs and against the slope of the hill, the people could meet for festivities. Die Vaderland, 28 Augustus a:5 There are similarities between the descriptions of Van Wouw and Moerdyk, and there are differences.
Neither Moerdyk nor Van Wouw acknowledged any cooperation. For the purposes of this article, the design itself is of more importance. It opens a perspective on the envisioned Voortrekker memorial, which preceded the final accepted Moerdyk design.
The minutes recorded that Moerdyk related his design to the Egyptian pyramids and the Zimbabwe ruins. The published drawing clearly resembles the Edfu temple in Egypt, and not a pyramid see Kleiner en Mamiya However, it is generally agreed that pyramids were burial monuments, hence the association with a sarcophagus and with the resurrection of the spirit of life force of the Pharaohs. Moerdyk probably referred to pyramids in general, without committing to a particular pyramidal design see Britz The famous Egyptian structures 'typical of Africa' Moerdyk does not associate Egypt with the Mediterranean countries, nor the civilisations of the ancient East embodied an unblemished religious character.
The option for an Egyptian temple and the directional reference to the pyramid are significant for what he would capture in the grandiose national monument. Other than 15 years earlier, the conceptual location for this monument was not the classical Greek architecture, but it was situated within the ambit of religious structures typical of ancient Egypt. This ancient and religious setting forms the platform that carried his design, and conveyed its symbolic and religious meaning and scope associated with death, funeral, sacrifice and resurrection or spiritual re-awakening.
The second Moerdyk design was accepted by the Central Committee and went on exhibition in Johannesburg. It seems to vary quite radically from the first design. It does not consist of two massive pylons, but forms an inclusive and undivided unity. Elsewhere, this author Britz has shown that if the two designs are mapped over one another, the intertwining is too conspicuous to ignore. It is clear that the original design, based on the Egyptian temple structure Edfu , was incorporated by Moerdyk in the final Voortrekker Monument proposal.
The author is convinced that Moerdyk's education had profoundly influenced him in terms of the use of ancient and classic building styles in his architectural work, and that his two related designs for the Voortrekker Monument are no exceptions. The design of the Voortrekker Monument was indeed inspired by the temple architecture of ancient Egypt, identified by the architect as a mausoleum, a shrine that is host to a sarcophagus containing the bones of Voortrekker heroes.
Undoubtedly, it is a religious building, a sanctuary that, as a site of memory, was intended to serve the purposes of commemoration. The ancient Egyptian temples and religious associations and symbolism formed the envelopment in which the religious statement of the building would be enclosed. The transformation in meaning and symbolism. The model that went on show in Johannesburg in September revealed to the public eye the layout and form of the proposed Voortrekker Monument. The design provoked immediate criticism. In the public press, sharp opinions were expressed. The design was too 'eastern', and therefore 'on-afrikaans' and thus could not be associated with Afrikaner tradition and historical interpretation.
In early , the Central Committee responded and defended its selection of the Moerdyk design. An in-depth analysis of this response Britz disclosed that the Central Committee, in collaboration with the architect, now avoided explicating the symbolism and meaning of the building in terms of its Egyptian-inspired design. Instead, the emphasis shifted to two protruding and interrelated trajectories of explanation.
Firstly, the mere format and structure of the building was interpreted to depict a portrayal of true Afrikaner nationalism and historical interpretation. Secondly, the building was also attuned to the spirituality and religious inkling of the Afrikaner people. It was made clear: in the design, not only the Afrikaner's historical view is given a place of honour, but a building was also shaped in which her or his religious spirituality would also resonate.
With this explicit interpretation, the nationalisation of both the Monument and the events it portrayed as a site of memory was incepted. At the inauguration of the building, it even went farther: the Monument was then depicted as a symbol and mandate of the Afrikaners proprietary right of ownership of South Africa. It now served ideological purposes see Britz This alteration in the explanation of the symbolism and meaning of the Monument represents a departure from the original purpose and intention of the Central Committee.
It also compromised the intentions of the government in its support of the project, which had an underlying motive to further the appeasement of Afrikaans and English speaking white citizens. In the future, Moerdyk would stick to these two lines when reflecting on the meaning and symbolism of his design. A large vessel, such as a tub, cistern, or barrel, used to hold or store liquids. Switch to new thesaurus. Mehrwertsteuer Mwst. IVA tinaja cuba. Mentioned in?
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