Welcome to Johannesburg! While you are staying at AtholPlace Hotel & Villa why not set aside some time to explore? AtholPlace is very centrally situated and there are a number of nearby places of interest to visit. One of our favourite spots is Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, which is a short car ride away. Speak to our duty manager Enoch Banda …he can arrange your transport.At 1,000sqm, Nelson Mandela Square (or The Square as locals call it ) is listed as one of the largest open, public spaces in the country and adjoins the Sandton City shopping mall which is home to over 300 local and international brands, as well as the chandelier draped Diamond Walk which is a mecca of global, luxury brands. While on The Square, you can browse boutiques, shops and salons offering curios, gifts jewellery and fashion.
Although The Square takes its design inspiration from a European styled piazza, it has the added advantage of warm South African hospitality which you can soak up at any of the sidewalk cafés or restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for a good South African steak (The Butcher Shop & Grill) generous Greek platters (Pappas on the Square) or leisurely cups of coffee and feel-good indulgences (Tashas – head for the Flamingo Room which has beautiful interiors inspired by African glamour) you can find it.
Nelson Mandela Square is not just about shopping and eating out, it is also a place to commemorate South African history and heritage by taking in the towering bronze, statue of Nelson Mandela which is the focal point of the square and a popular meeting place. Sculpted by Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane the statue depicts thelate President of South Africa Nelson Mandela and was unveiled in 2004, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections. The statue stands 6 metres (taller than 5.9m of the world’s tallest recorded giraffe) and weighs 2.5 tons (the weight of an adult African white rhino).
Take a piece of Madiba Magic home with a Madiba Shirt which was specially created for the late president. Pop into The Presidential Store and browse the range of replica shirts made up in hand-painted silk, prints, woven jacquard and hand-batiked fabrics. You could even pick up a snappy blazer or dip into the ladies’ range which includes kaftan tops and dresses designed using hand-painted materials.
The Square has also developed a reputation as a bit of a cultural hub, hosting regular outdoor concerts, exhibitions and fairs – as well as plays and shows at The Theatre on the Square. Speak to Melinda who is part of our Duty manager team at AtholPlace, about current listings and events.
No visit to Nelson Mandela Square is complete without creating some memories – so once you have shopped, browsed and satisfied your appetite – get ready for a selfie in front of the statue. Yebo to that!
All images sourced