Things To Do in Durban CentralOld Court House Museum
Where? 77 Samora Machel Street (formerly Aliwal Street), Durban.
When? Monday to Saturday from 08h30 to 16h00 and Sundays from 11h00 to 16h00.
How? Call +27 (0)31 311-2225
How much? Falls into price group R1 to R100 per person. Confirm with the provider.
Durban's Old Court House Museum pays delightful homage to the heritage of Durban. This city is the capital of KwaZulu-Natal Province and home to the King Shaka International Airport, making it one of South Africaís busiest and most important urban epicentres. As its name implies, this museum was once a court house. However, it was also much more than that.
It was loop-holed during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, and the oldest public building in Durbanís CBD. It saw both of the South African Wars and the Bhambatha Uprising, as well as World Wars I and II. In fact, during these massive wars, it acted as a recruitment centre. Before it was turned into a museum, it also functioned as a library. The building was frequented by Mahatma Gandhi, who was a lawyer in Durban at the time, and was not exempt from the injustices of colonial rule.
Being only a few metres away from the Durban City Hall makes this museum central and easily accessible for tourists and locals. It is also close to a number of other attractions and activities.
Today, the Old Court House Museum is a two-storey exhibition space that tells the poignant and fascinating history of the area and the people that have played an integral role in the modern identity of Durban and South Africa.
The Durban Room of the museum has fascinating exhibits, which include replicas of Henry Francis Fynnís cottage, a sugar cane press, haberdashery store and pharmacy of yesteryear. Many of the original clothing styles and pieces have been immortalised in the Costume Room, and these are always a delight for young and old alike to explore. In addition, the Old Court House Museum also caters to those conducting formal research. The enquiry section will be able to assist with old photographs and extensive documentation.
The Greenacre Museum shop is open to visitors, and has an array of mementoes, postcards and keepsakes to remind visitors of their special time here, or as gifts for friends and family back home.