INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PIETERMARITZBURG

  1. The annual Pietermaritzburg Royal Show, hosted every May/ June is within walking distance from The Grace Guesthouse and will see its 160th installment in 2010, coinciding with the hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup by South Africa
  2. The annual Pietermaritzburg Garden Show, hosted every October is within walking distance from The Grace Guesthouse and is Africa’s largest horticultural event.
  3. The Pietermaritzburg City Hall is five minutes away from The Grace Guesthouse, is the largest all-brick building in the southern hemisphere, contains the largest pipe organ in the southern hemisphere and was declared a national monument in 1969.
  4. The Pietermaritzbug Tatham Art Gallery features local ethnic and leading South African artists, as well as artworks by artistic legends such as Degas, Picasso, Matisse, Hockney and Renoir.
  5. The Pietermaritzburg annual Art in the Park event, in Alexander Park is the country’s largest outdoor art exhibition. Alexander Park is also the venue for Cars in the Park that annually features approximately 500 classic vintage cars.
  6. Mahatma Gandhi, pioneer civil rights activist and pioneer of passive resistance and mass non –violent civil disobedience known as “Satyagraha” once called Pietermaritzburg home.
  7. Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s and the world’s most loved icon and symbol of freedom and equality addressed the All-In Africa Conference, the biggest political meeting of Africans ever held in South Africa up to that point in Pietermaritzburg in 1952 
  8. Alan Paton, opponent of apartheid policies and world renowned author of Cry, the Beloved Country, was born and educated in Pietermaritzburg.
  9. The first Duzi Canoe Marathon in Pietermaritzburg took place on 22 December 1951, with only eight paddlers competing.
  10. The modern day Duzi Canoe Marathon is the world’s largest multi-day canoe marathon and the oldest canoe race in Africa.
  11. The first Midmar Mile swimming event in Howick, just 20 kilometres outside Pietermaritzburg, was hosted in 1973, when petrol restrictions prohibited swimmers from traveling to compete in the Eastern Cape’s East London Buffalo Mile.
  12. The inaugural Midmar Mile swimming event was contested by 153 entrants in comparison to 16 073 contestants in 2008. Two octogenarians, both 84 years old completed the Midmar Mile in just over an hour in 2008 (Roy Rees and Lorna Cochrane).
  13. The Comrades Marathon is run from Pietermaritzburg [starting at City Hall] to Durban and from Durban to Pietermaritzburg on alternate years and is the world’s largest ultra-marathon.
 Art in the park Vantage Motor Show Comrades Marathon
Tatham Art Gallery Art in the Park
Vintage Motor Show Comrades Marathon

Nelson Mandela, Dr
Dr. Nelson Mandela

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

Alan Paton
Alan Paton

PMB City - Hall`
PMB City Hall


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