Old Colonial Building

Part of Pietermaritzburg’s colonial history lies in the proud Old Colonial Building, which has stood on Church Street since 1899

KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Old Colonial Building

Part of Pietermaritzburg’s colonial history lies in the proud Old Colonial Building, which has stood on Church Street since 1899.

Where? 24 Church Street, Pietermaritzburg, 3201

When? Best during daylight hours.

Overnight? See Pietermaritzburg accommodation, in Natal Midlands

The colonnaded front facade was completed in 1901 and was home to various government offices over the years. The design of the building is attributed to William Henry Powell, who won the princely sum of £100 for its design back in 1894. The foundation stone was laid in 1887 and Powell died in 1900, before the building was completed.

The building boasts beautiful architecture and a bronze statue of activist Mahatma Gandhi outside the building, in commemoration of the incident of 1893 when he was evicted from a first class carriage at Pietermaritzburg railway station. In the late 1990s a contract was awarded to renovate the building, which had been vandalised by thieves stealing copper sheeting from the roof, the cast-iron Victorian fire places and tons of lead lining from the toilets.

In June 2009 an unfortunate fire caused extensive damage to the building, which was being renovated to house the offices of the master of the court.

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Old Colonial Building

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Did you know?

Considered for many decades to be the city’s main social activity centre, Alexandra Park is well known for showcasing annual events like Art in the Park – the largest outdoor art exhibition in South Africa; Cars in the Park – an annual motoring event featuring vehicles past and present; and Maritzburg Fantasia – a Christmas night market with a character all of its own.

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