Fort Klapperkop (Pretoria)
Overview of Fort Klapperkop
Fort Klapperkop was the third fort erected before the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902), in order to provide Pretoria with military protection. The ruins of Fort Klapperkop has been beautifully restored, and features the following rooms: Ammunitie, Hospitaal, Machine, Telegraaf, Stal, and Manschappen.
In March 1896, the Executive Council of the Republic of South Africa (ZAR) accepted a defence plan. The failed Jameson Raid had raised serious concerns over the safety of the capital, and the goal of the defence strategy was to be able to protect Pretoria from foreign invaders and all other foreigners from the Witwatersrand.
The Government erected four main forts in Pretoria:
Fort Klapperkop was erected by the Krupp firm, and completed in
January 1989 with a cost of
50 000 pounds.
Fort Klapperkop had some unique features, which included a moat around it, and a drawbridge. The moat however was never filled with water. Fort Klapperkop shared the water supply from the Fountains Valley with the nearby Fort Schanskop.
Fort Klapperkop was manned by a maximum of 30 troops, but, by 1899, only 16 soldiers remained. Like the other Pretoria Forts, Fort Klapperkop never saw active combat. Despite this, Fort Klapperkop was to be fitted with the well-known 155mm Creusot cannon, also known as the "Long Tom".
Fort Klapperkop was declared and restored as a military museum in 1963, and offers visitors a glimpse into the world of the Boer War, as well as stunning views over the Jacaranda City. Fort Klapperkop also houses an old steam locomotive, the last tram used in Pretoria, and a commemorative war statue to the South African Defence Force who died fighting for their country.
Review of Fort Klapperkop
Step back into the military history of South Africa for an afternoon, and reflect on the lives of the brave soldiers who fought for the freedom of South Africa. Our visit to Fort Klapperkop started with the War Statue which commemorates the South African Defence Force, and we were immediately filled with a longing sadness for the many lives that were lost during the wars.
We have now visited all three the available Pretoria Forts, and I feel that Fort Klapperkop was the best Fort of the three. Except for the stunning views of the city, the displays are informative and put together with care. You will definitely learn something here. The old steam locomotive makes a nice photo opportunity.
Although we enjoyed our short visit here, there is not too much to do, except for walking around the facility slowly and gazing out over the beauty of the city.