The Kruger Museum consists of two exhibition halls, the State railway coach, and the original house where President Kruger and his family lived during the last few years of the 19th century. The Kruger House, built in 1884, was the original home of Paul Kruger and has since been refurbished to reflect the time when this family lived here.
Next to the Kruger Museum is the former Bantu Commissioner’s Office Building, erected in 1932 on the same site as the old Native Pass Office. The people of Pretoria and the surrounds remember the building as "gaMohle". Its history of enforcing the Pass Laws dates back to 1896 when Paul Kruger’s government used the site for its police headquarters.
The Kruger House
The Presidency, as the house was called, was once a modest private home. The house has been refurbished to look like it did during the time the president and his family lived here, based on a study of the available evidence of the original furnishings. The house has since served other functions such as the headquarters of the South African Constabulary, a private hotel, and property of the Union government of South Africa. The Kruger museum was finally opened in 1934 and declared a National monument in 1937.
The collection on display in the West Hall includes exhibitons of value, addresses, pictures, poems, medals, musical compositions, sketches, letters, albums, books, and newspapers. The exhibits came from countries as far as the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, the USA, Israel, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Russia, and Spain. In total, the National Cultural History Museum houses over 1,000 examples of this kind of Krugeriana.
The Exile Hall
The exhibits in this hall cover President Kruger’s journey to Europe, his hero’s welcome in France and the Netherlands, his exile in Europe, his death in Switzerland and the State funeral in Pretoria.
President Kruger’s State Railway Coach
President Kruger used his coach between 1894 - 1900 on official visits and campaigns to areas of the ZAR, as well as on trips to Natal and Bloemfontein during the Boer War. He also lived for a short time in the coach while at Machadodorp. The last time President Kruger travelled in the railway coach was when he travelled to Lourenco Marques, to go from there in exile to Europe. Thereafter the coach was used to convey senior government officials in South Africa and Namibia.
The Kruger and the directors’ coaches were taken out of service by the South African Railways in 1934, due to deterioration. The interiors of both coaches were restored in 1951. In 1952 the Kruger coach was brought to its present site at the Kruger museum. The directors’ coach, with a NZASM locomotive, has been located on the main platform of Pretoria Station since 1965.