Pretoria is named after its founder, Marthinus Pretorius, who established the city in 1855. In May 1960, Pretoria became the capital of the South African Republic, and - although the ruling powers have changed over the years - it has enjoyed a position of authority ever since. During the Apartheid era, Pretoria was tarnished with the unpopular image of being the "capital of Apartheid South Africa".
This greatly improved in 1994, when Nelson Mandela was inaugurated in the city as the country's first non-apartheid president. The city is still home to South Africa's government, in the Union Buildings, and serves as one of the country's three capital cities along with Bloemfontein and Cape Town.