"Pietermaritzburg" Top 5 Page for this destination Pietermaritzburg by ashique

Pietermaritzburg Travel Guide: 30 reviews and 50 photos

Hidden History of Pietermaritzburg

Pietermaritzburg had its beginnings in the colonial era and was originally settled by the Voortrekkers in 1838. The British re-imposed sovereignty over the Boers in 1842/3. However, both the Boers and the British have left indelible marks on the city, manifest in many ways, but particularly on the architecture of the city.

The modern city of Pietermaritzburg boasts a broad cultural diversity. British, Zulu, Afrikaans (Boer), Hindu and Moslem communities have all contributed to a culturally diverse city.

Internationally prominent people such as Gandhi and Mandela have also played a part in the city's history. History left Pietermaritzburg with a sad legacy in that Gandhi was unceremoniously thrown off the train in Pietermaritzburg, and Mandela was arrested nearby and held in police cells within the city before his now famous trial.

The site of the current city hall was originally occupied by the Boer Raadsaal. It was later replaced by the first Pietermaritzburg city hall, a two storey structure completed in 1893, and completely destroyed by fire on 12 July 1898. The current three storey city hall structure, was completed in 1903 and is deemed to be the largest red brick structure in the southern hemisphere.

Today the city is and has been politically controlled by the ANC (African National Congress) since the first democratic elections in 1994. Internationally renowned democracy-seeker and author, Alan Paton was schooled here and had strong attachments to the city. The Alan Paton library is housed in the local university.

A view of the city of Pmb from Worlds View, The Twin Tower building is called Natalia which is surrounded by supermarkets, flats and businesses.

Alexandra Park

Comprising 86.5ha, Alexandra Park was established in 1863 and named after Princess Alexandra of Denmark who later became Queen Alexandra of Great Britain. It features the picturesque cricket Pavilion built in 1898 to commemorate 50 years of British history in Pietermaritzburg. Today it houses a restaurant. There is also a charming Chinoiserie-style bandstand, recently renovated to its former glory, which is the venue of regular concerts. Alexandra Park is a centre for international sports fixtures and the venue for monthly craft markets.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful Views
  • Cons:crime rate on the rise
  • In a nutshell:Beautiful place to vist
  • Intro Updated May 13, 2004
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Reviews (6)

Comments (4)

  • mary2u99's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2006 at 9:28 PM

    The park look beautiful.. Happy birthday to you.

  • Kristina1701's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2004 at 1:05 PM

    nice start! sounds like a great place! what a pity crime is on the rise though :(

  • Bavavia's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2004 at 9:32 AM

    Love alexandria park picture! HOpe all is well on your side of the world which is just the opposite side where I am!

  • Elena_007's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2004 at 12:13 PM

    Loved the "orgasm" on your home page. Someone stole mine. :-( Your part of the World is very interesting. :-) Hope to see more pics here soon. ~Elaine~

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