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BBuilt in 1987 and originally known as National Stadium SA, this stadium has three decades of history and heritage associated with its name. The stadium has been the venue of both delight and sorrow, hosting several landmark events in the history of South Africa. The stadium goes by various other names, the best known of which are the FNB Stadium, Soccer City and the Calabash (after its iconic shape).
The FNB Stadium is located in Nasrec, near Johannesburg’s Soweto. This iconic 94 736-seater stadium is the largest venue in South Africa, and was the main stadium for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. It needed to undergo major renovations to accommodate tens of thousands of football fans and players from around the world.
IIts rounded shape was inspired by calabashes, which are traditional African pots. The cladding resembles intricate mosaics that represent fire and earth, while the lighting that encircles the base of the stadium mirrors the flames of a fire burning under the "pot". The stadium facilities include executive suites, wheelchair access, 184 hospitality suites, parking for 15 000 cars, as well as underground parking for 4000 VIP vehicles.
FNB stadium (Mandela Funeral)
TThe multi-purpose FNB Stadium also offers a variety of smaller venue options for corporate and private events, as well as live music concerts. Many international artists have performed at the stadium including U2, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Linkin Park, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rihanna.
The stadium has been the centre of historic events, starting with the first iconic speech from former President Nelson Mandela in 1990. This took place a few days after he was released from prison, where he served 27 years. It was also the site of Chris Hani's funeral service and the venue for the 1996 CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals.
OOn 10 December 2013, FNB Stadium was the venue where more than 90 world leaders gathered together for the memorial service of Nelson Mandela. Speeches were rendered by United States President Barack Obama, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, China's Vice-President Li Yuanchao, President Raúl Castro Ruz of Cuba and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the memorial service.
This is not just a stadium it is a place of celebration, mourning, arts, culture, history and triumph.
South Africans are a diverse mix of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and the many museums scattered around the country preserve rich histories, heritages and cultural traditions.
South Africa is a country of rich religious diversity, protected by the Constitution, so explore sacred architecture and spiritual traditions at our many historic places of worship.
Wits Art Museum – part of the University of the Witwatersrand – houses an African art collection that was started in the 1920s and includes masks, photographs, paintings and more.
Cullinan in Gauteng province yielded the world’s biggest diamond ever, and apart from tours of the mine, visitors can also enjoy game ranches, local culture and masses of history in the area.
Hop-on, hop-off City Sightseeing open-top bus tours are a great way to explore Johannesburg – from leafy park suburbs to the inner city – plus the history, modern vibe and many cultures of Soweto.
Chancellor House, the building in which Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo opened South Africa’s first black law firm, is just 1 of the stops to see on a walking tour of Jo’burg’s history.