Famous people such as Mohandas Gandhi, Queen Victoria and Nelson Mandela have left their mark on history in our city. Even today, famous and beautiful people are attracted to our city. Here we introduce you to some of them and to some lesser known, but unique characters, some of whom you may meet in our streets.
It was at Pietermaritzburg station that Gandhi was forcibly removed from a First Class carriage. This was the start of his politcisation and his Passive Resistance campaign. Look out for the Gandhi plaque in our station building and his statue in Church Street. His jail cell is at the old prison which now houses the activities of Project Gateway.
Look out for the statue of this influential leader outside our Parliament Buildings in Longmarket Street. It was during the reign of this regal lady that Pietermaritzburg grew into the magnificent 'Victorian' city that it is today.
A man close to the hearts of our people, Mandela made his last speech - prior to incarceration on Robben Island for 27 years - at Imbali. He returned to our city on 25th April 1997 to be awarded the Freedom of our City. Look out for the monument near Howick marking the place of his arrest.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye! So called our colourful Town Crier as he rang his bell and announced the activities of the day. You would have heard his booming voice at the Farmer¹s Market or down Church Street on a Saturday morning.Oh dear Town Crier was sadly called to rest in 2012 , his memory will live on and his legacy will always be part of Pietermaritzburg.
Visit the Imperial Hotel in Jabu Ndlovu Street in remembrance of the French connection. This is the hotel from which the Prince Imperial of France rode out to meet his unfortunate death in an ambush during the Anglo Zulu War.
When you visit the Msunduzi Museum Complex look out for the statues of Piet Retief and Gert Maritz, the two Voortrekker leaders after whom the city was named.
Don't miss a visit to the Tatham Art Gallery to find out about the unusual garden signs and art of Fanele Chickenman Mkhize. His work has been displayed in galleries worldwide. Before his untimely death in 1997 he would sit outside the gallery selling his work. Been there? Done that? Then make sure you get your Chickenman T-shirt before leaving town.
Pietermaritzburg's very own mascot, a fleecy grey elephant dressed in shorts and a golf shirt, is in the habit of pitching up at functions and delighting the crowds. Should you be fortunate enough to meet this happy fellow, be sure to ask him for a dance and pose with you for your next photo. He'll be charmed!
Visit the Alan Paton Museum to learn more about our famous author who wrote 'Cry the Beloved Country'.Sporting Greats
We are home to many sporting greats such as Jonty Rhodes, Graeme Pope-Ellis, Neil Woolridge, Alfie Cox and Gary Teichman. Spend some time in the Comrades Museum and get to know all about the heroes of this race.