Things To Do in Central HillRoute 67 Art and Heritage Walk
Where? Route 67 - public-art project and heritage walk starts in Campanile in Strand Street.
When? Best during daylight hours.
How much? Free
Late in 2011, timed for launch on Heritage Day, the new art project route known simply as Route 67 was opened to the public. Nelson Mandela Bay has used this art journey as a way to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 67 years of public life and his contribution to the freedom struggle in South Africa.
The walking route includes 67 public art pieces by 67 different local Eastern Cape artists in a total of 67 giant steps. It begins at the Campanile in Strand Street and winds its way through the CBD - the heart of the city that before this project looked set for decay – through Vuyisile Mini Square, past the City Library, up the steps of St Mary's Terrace and up to the Great Flag in the Donkin Reserve.
Each art piece repressents a specific period during the 67 years and comes accompanied by quotes, media articles and historic events. The impetus behind all of this is to demonstrate how public art can create an interactive urban space, and to elicit a feeling of pride in the city.
The walk has been organised by the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), the urban renewal arm of the municipality, who have ensured that the walk tells the story of Port Elizabeth's rich heritage – both the colonial history and the history of Nelson Mandela.
The art works incude the Voting Line sculpture at the Donkin Reserve by Anthony Harris and Konrad Geel – life size, laser-cut steel figures that represent all the communities who shared the peaceful april 1994 vote for democracy. Whilst some of the art pieces are still in progress, the art in the Donkin Reserve is complete.
Some of the accompanying words on display come from public contribution of words they wanted to see included – words like integrity, eerlikheid, Ubuntu, in Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, any language of the metro, selected by a panel of local personalities. The words will feature on a series of tiles that make up the Walk of Words, set into the restored paving in Jetty Street.