Durban Historical Centre and Monuments

Durban’s historical town centre is not too large and can easily be explored on foot. It is centred around the imposing City Hall, between Smith and West Street. The hall was built in the Renaissance style and served from 1910 as the Town Hall. Nowadays it houses the Concert Hall and the Natural Science Museum with extensive exhibitions about the fauna of South Africa and a life-sized dinosaur model at the entrance.

The small Francis Farewell Square in front of the City Hall, surrounded by palm trees, is dedicated to the founding fathers of the city, merchants from the Cape, who camped here first in the year 1824.

Diagonally opposite – in West Street, corner of Gardiner Street – lies Durban’s second National Monument from the colonial times. The Victorian building used to be the Town Hall from 1885 to 1910 and today serves as the Main Post Office.

The Da Gama Clock is a memorial donated by the Portuguese community to commemorate the first sighting of Durban by the famous Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gama, on Christmas Day, 1497.

The Old Fort where the remains of a fort where British soldiers were besieged by Boer forces in 1842. A war museum is housed in Warrior’s Gate. Formerly a powder magazine, the chapel of St. Peter in Chains is a war memorial and a popular venue for weddings.


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