Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Durban, South Africa
|Advertise Now -it's Free!||Change text size:|
Durban's architecture reflects the varied nature of its population and of its colourful history. The former is reflected in the profusion of Colonial, Cape Dutch, Indian and Oriental styles and the latter in the many Colonial, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco buildings - particularly well represented in the apartment buildings on the Berea. (right).
The Old Station Building
A (literally) monumental mix-up in 1892 saw Durban getting the plans for Toronto Station and Toronto getting those for Durban - which now has a roof capable of supporting 16 feet of snow. The fate of Toronto station roof during the first bad winter is obvious.
The building now houses the 'must visit' Tourist Junction - a mine of information for the tourist.
Note: There is another Tourist Junction outlet on the beachfront at the Bay of Plenty.
Between Commercial Road and Pine Streets, CBD. PO Box 2516,
Durban, 4000, South Africa3047144 3048792fx
The Durban City Hall
Almost an exact replica of that in Belfast, the 1910 neo-baroque City Hall also houses the Council Offices, Central Library, the Natural Science Museum and Art Gallery and accommodates 1700 people for functions. Immediately to the rear of the City Hall is the Local History Museum.
The Natal Playhouse
The building is in Tudor Revival style and was built in the 1920s. In the 1980s it was taken over by the Performing Arts Council along with the adjacent Princes theatre and converted into theNatal Playhouse complex.
The Post Office
The building was erected in the 1880's and served as the Town Hall until Union in 1910. There is a plaque on the right corner celebrating a speech made on the steps by Winston Churchill, then a war correspondent, after his escape from a Boer POW camp in Pretoria in 1900.
The centre was originally a number of old Victorian steam locomotive repair sheds that have been converted into a health spa (platforms), Tourist Junction (administration), theWorkshop Shopping centre (repair sheds) and the Durban Exhibition Centre (more repair sheds).
The square is an early example of an informal settlement and was occupied by workers building the first railway that connected the Point with the city. Later, Indian labourers destined for the sugar cane plantations stayed there and hoisted their red flags on bamboo poles.
The Old Fort
A relic from the conflict with the Boers of the short-lived Natalia Republiek in 1842, the fort, originally an earthen structure, accommodates a barracks, armoury and museum.
NMR Avenue and Old Fort Road Opening Hours: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday 11.00 - 15.00, Saturday 08.30 - 16.00
Built in 1902 in French Provincial and neo-Gothic styles, the Cathedral contains a beautiful sanctuary and stations of the cross.
Cathedral Road, adj. to Victoria Road Market
The Temple of Understanding
This beautiful building was completed in 1985 from donations by the devotees of the Hare Krishna faith. The interior is absolutely awe inspiring with brass, mirrors and ceiling panels showing the life of Krishna. Also see the Religious Bldgs. section.
The International Convention Centre
The building has an external wave like appearance and can seat 5000 people. It was completed in 1997 and is the only international venue of its kind in South Africa.
The Juma Musjin Mosque
The mosque is the largest in the Southern hemisphere and can accommodate 5000 men. The women either pray at home or, when at the mosque, pray in a different area.
This stately mansion is reserved for the use of the State President and was built in 1947 prior to the visit of the British Royal family.
Sir Arthur Road, Morningside
The Law Courts
Built in 1861, the site was the home of Durban's first hospital and then was a boy's school in the 1880's. The Law Courts were erected in 1916.
Masonic Grove, off Smith St.
The Local History Museum
Originally built as a courthouse in 1866, it is the oldest structure in Durban. In turn, it contains a replica of the first building to be built by an even early settler - that of Francis Fynn.
Aliwal St. behind the City Hall Mon -Sat: 08.30 - 16.00 Sun: 11.00 - 17.00 300 6241
The Natal Great Railway Station
The station was built in 1892 and faces one of the oldest settlements - Bamboo Square. It is in three styles - classical, vernacular and neo Georgian.