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Port Elizabeth bears the rich legacy of a city in an area which saw the first meetings of Khoisan, British, Dutch, German and Xhosa people. As the landing place of the 1820 Settlers, it boasts some of the finest architectural attractions in South Africa.
The 5 km Donkin Heritage Trail links 47 places of historical interest in the old Hill area of central Port Elizabeth. The useful pedestrian signage orientates tourists along the self-guided trail.
City Hall, Click to EnlargeThe beautiful, colonial City Hall, which is located on Market Square, was built between 1858 and 1862. The attractive clock tower was added in 1883. It was proclaimed a national monument in 1973. Also in the Square is a replica of the Diaz Cross, donated by the Portuguese Government to commemorate the epic arrival of Bartholomew Diaz in Algoa Bay in 1488.

Click to EnlargePrester John Memorial, adjacent to the City Hall, is dedicated to the mythical king-priest, Prester John, and the Portuguese explorers who discovered South Africa. The monument, which was unveiled in 1986 by the Portuguese Ambassador, is believed to be the only monument in the world depicting Prester John.

Click to EnlargeThe Main Public Library is situated in the North-Western corner of Market Square and was constructed in 1835. It was used as a courthouse from 1854 until the present library building was officially opened in 1902. The building is regarded as an excellent example of Victorian Gothic architecture. Its striking facade was manufactured in England and rebuilt piece by piece on the present site. The majestic Sicilian marble statue of Queen Victoria, at the library entrance, was erected and unveiled in 1903

 

The 53.5 m Campanile contains a chiming clock and the largest carillon of bells in the country, in addition to its chiming clock. The observation room can be reached by climbing a 204 step staircase, offering a magnificent experience and view not to be missed.

No 7 Castle Hill Museum is regarded as one of the oldest surviving Settler cottages in Port Elizabeth. This picturesque family dwelling, which dates back to 1827, has been restored to reflect the history and elegant lifestyle which was enjoyed by any English middle-class family in mid-19th century Port Elizabeth

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Click to EnlargeClick to EnlargeThe Donkin Reserve was proclaimed a public open space in perpetuity by Sir Rufane Donkin. It includes a stone pyramid monument, with a touching inscription, erected by Sir Rufane Donkin in memory of his late wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city was named. Running along side the reserve you will find the Donkin street houses which have been restored to the original state.

 

Click to EnlargeFort Frederick is a 1799 stone fort built by the British Forces to defend the mouth of the Baakens River. It was named after Frederick, Duke of York, and was built by English troops. The English troops were sent to Algoa Bay to assist the Graaff-Reinet rebels in preventing a possible landing of French soldiers. Yet, ironically, no shot was ever fired in anger from the Fort.
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