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The architecture, the rich history, the museum, the local people all fantastic.
Founded in 1838 and named after two Voortrekkers, Pietermaritzburg is the provincial capital of KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. Although a fairly large city, Pietermaritzburg has retained some of its quaintness with the old market square, pavilion & bandstand and narrow pedestrian lanes in some parts of the city.
Pietermaritzburg became a British stronghold in the 1840s and rich Victorian architecture and a bygone military presence is evident throughout this city.
The Midlands Meander, a scenic arts and crafts route, begins in Pietermaritzburg.
Pietermaritzburg is known the world over for the Comrades Marathon, a 90km endurance race that has taken place between Durban and the city since 1921, the number of entrants reaching 20000 annually.
Sometimes referred to as Sleepy Hollow, other times as the City of Flowers, Pietermaritzburg has a great deal of historic charm with a vitality owing to the vast amount of KwaZulu-Natal University students in attendance.
Top 8 reasons to visit Pietermaritzburg
1. Take a walk around the city to visit the red brick City Hall, the Voortrekker Museum, Garden of Remembrance and many other beautiful Victorian and art deco structures. Fort Napier, 3km out of town, housed the first British garrison and is worthwhile visiting.
2. The Natal Museum opened its doors over a century ago and is the custodian of significant Zulu craft objects. The museum has the largest shell collection in Africa and fascinating African culture and European settler history displays.
3. Another historic venue is the Tatham Art Gallery that has since 1903 hosted contemporary and other stimulating art exhibitions. Entrance is free. The gallery has an education programme for all interested artists.
4. Drive Route 1 of the Midlands Meander starting from Pietermaritzburg and travelling through various neighbouring areas. Highlights include the Zulu-Mpophomeni Tourism experience, the Howick and Karkloof waterfalls and the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve.
5. The flat 18-hole course at... Show more