East London City Hall

In 1897 the magnificent City Hall was built between Oxford Street and Argyle Street in East London

Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsThe East London City Hall

East London is a historical city in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Although relatively small, it has always been a valuable resource for the country, as it is home to South Africa’s only river port. This made it particularly accessible in times past, when water travel was of primary importance.

Where? Corner of Oxford Street and Argyle Street, East London, Eastern Cape

Overnight? See East London accommodation, in Eastern Cape

During the 1890’s, wool became a very important export that generated much financially. This is when East London rose in the esteem of those occupying the region, since much of the wool was to be exported from this little hub.

In 1897, the magnificent City Hall (as it is known today) was built between Oxford Street and Argyle Street. It has a distinctive Victorian architectural style. Its dark oxblood walls are juxtaposed by stark white columns and romantic, if bold, arched windows.

East London City Hall towers over the city streets imposingly; dramatic and impressive. Since it was built during the time of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee (the 60th year of her being the Queen), the massive clock tower was named the Victoria Tower in honour of Queen Victoria. At this stage, much of Africa was colonised by the English, and under royal rule. The City Hall was completed in 1899.

This structure was recognised as a National Monument until 1914, when East London was declared a formal city. Thereafter, this became the official City Hall.

One of the features of this attraction is the marble tablets on the landing of the vestibule, each of which bears the names of white soldiers that died in the frontier wars.

This is a poignant reminder of the great devastation of these wars, but only reflects a very small proportion of those that died. A statue of prominent politician and activist, Steve Biko, stands tall outside the East London City Hall. There is no entrance fee for visitors, but all are advised to get permission to tour the hall from the caretaker, as it is still being used.

Popular Attractions near East London City Hall

East London Museum

The East London Natural History gallery features the original coelacanth - a prehistoric fish that has lived in the Indian Ocean for 400 million years, thought to be extinct until it was re-discovered in 1938. The discovery of a live...

More info and contact details: East London Museum

East London Coast Nature Reserve

The main reasons for the East London Coast Nature Reserve’s existence are to preserve the incredible biodiversity in the region, to protect the natural vegetation and manage alien vegetation. But for the visitor the extraordinary wildness...

More info and contact details: East London Coast Nature Reserve

Did you know?

The best time of year to watch the whales from East London Aquarium's whale viewing deck is from August to November. The East London aquarium makes it easy to see when the best viewing times are as they fly a set of blue flags immediately whales are sighted.

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