The marble floor of the Hall of Heroes is covered with widening circular patterns. This design represents water waves after a stone has been thrown into the water. It gets wider and wider until it fills the entire Hall of Heroes. It symbolises the spread of the spirit of sacrifice that emanated from the Voortrekkers until its effects filled the whole country.
Above the Hall of Heroes, there is a dome with a large round opening in the middle. Above this dome, there is a second dome that represents the globe. If the lines of this second dome were extended, they would enclose the entire monument in one immense circle. The top dome is symbolic of the scope of the Voortrekkers’ journey into the interior. If you look down, you will see the famous cenotaph.
The cenotaph is the central focal point of the monument. The word “cenotaph” means a “grave without bones”. It is therefore an empty tomb. It is the symbolic last resting place of Piet Retief and all Voortrekkers who perished during the Great Trek.
Once a year, on 16 December, a ray of sunshine shines through the opening in the upper dome of the monument in the middle of the cenotaph.
It illuminates the words “Ons vir jou, Suid-Afrika” (We for thee, South Africa). The architect, Gerard Moerdijk, specifically planned it this way, because the ray of sun is a symbol of God’s blessing upon the work and aspirations of the Voortrekkers. This design was ahead of its time.