Pietermaritzburg – Historical and Picturesque City
Pietermaritzburg, situated in the beautiful Umzinduzi Valley surrounded by green hills is one of the country's most picturesque and historical cities.
The original village was established as a Voortrekker Settlement in 1838 and has since developed into the capital city of Kwazulu Natal, with a 20th century lifestyle, but retaining an old world dignity and Victorian ambience.
Among the many places of interest in and around Pietermaritzburg are the Voortrekker Museum and Memorial Church
built after the Battle of Blood River in 1838 and containing many relics of that period including an
original oxwagon. The
Voortrekker House Museum, the oldest surviving double storey Voortrekker house
with furniture, dates back to the mid 1800’s. The Macrorie House Museum, gracious and charming in
the Victorian lifestyle of early settlers, was the house of Bishop Macrorie in 1869. The Comrades
Marathon Museum is a resorted Victorian house displaying the history and memorabilia of this famous
marathon. Make a point of seeing the Botanical Gardens featuring beautiful displays of indigenous
and exotic plants and containing magnificent trees and shrubs. These gardens were founded in 1872.
Azaleas abound throughout the city and are the floral emblem of Pietermaritzburg, providing a
spectacular sight when in bloom. Alexandra Park has a magnificent Victorian pavilion and bandstand,
and this park is the venue for the annual Art in the Park Festival.
There are numerous historic buildings worth visiting such as the old Railway Station, the Old Supreme
Court, Government House, Old Colonial Building, Natal Museum, and City hall to mention a few.