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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.
The Mandela House in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, is now a small but interesting museum where you can learn more about Nelson Mandela's life.
Dr. A.B. Xuma’s house in Sophiatown tells the story of a way of life during apartheid.
Emirates Airline Park played a significant role in South African sporting history, after hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.
National Archives and Records Service of South Africa - the Reading Room is open for public use and is free of charge.
The Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility gallows is now a museum. It memorialises the 3500 souls who lost their lives here.
Soak up Soweto’s rich cultural atmosphere at an important South African tourist destination - Sakhumzi Restaurant.
Nelson Mandela’s memory lives on in a number of places in Gauteng where he spent his formative political years, opening a legal practice and starting to play a leading role in the Struggle against apartheid.