Wonderful views over the town. I'm always struck by all the greenery in various of your gardening threads pictures. Now I can see it's not just in one part of town. The pictures of Napierville look like a lovely park.
Thanks for such a complete report on the church, which shows so much of the history & particular architecture of your area. I was struck by the exposed brick on the interior. It's elegant but unexpected. How lucky to have ecclesiastical musical accompaniment to your picture-taking!
The altar frontal is a singular and beautiful work. And the flower arrangements -- wow! Any idea of the purpose of that grate in the floor?
Thank you so much for the link, which I will re-read & study more closely as your thread develops. It does a good job of presenting events -- some of which are quite surprising -- in a balanced way & helps explains much that I don't understand about S.Africa in general.
Bixa, I noticed several of those ornate cast-iron grills in the floor but forgot when we left to ask the church warden what they are for. My first guess is that it's some kind of ventilation or heating duct. Will try and get the correct answer as I am just as curious - incidentally I don't remember them from when I was a school girl sitting there!
Next - A trip around a movie backdrop which starred Peter O'Toole, welcomed royalty, and has an association with Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee!
Leaving St Georges Church in Napierville we attempted to gain access to what is left of Fort Napier Garrison buildings but unfortunately were turned away at the gate of the hospital and told to make an appointment with the Superintendent. That gives us opportunity to also visit the military graveyard, so another day will be spent up here on the hill sometime in the future.
It was just on noon when we drove into Alexandra Park to take photos of a rather grand old lady, namely the pavilion on the cricket oval. The Jubilee Pavilion which was officially opened in 1899 to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee - based on the same design as the ground at Chesterfield in Derby shire, the pavilion was renovated recently and is in extremely good condition.
Alexandra Park is one of the green belts which contributes to Pietermaritzburg’s reputation as “The Garden City”. The park was established in 1863 and named after Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII. The 85 hectare park is bounded by the Msunduzi River, along which the famous canoe marathon runs.
In the early days non cricket events were staged at the Oval, among them being the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1935, the Natal v The All Blacks rugby match in 1928 and the official welcome to the Royal Family in 1947. Other sports such as golf, swimming, athletics, boating, soccer, cycling and boxing also took place.
Guess who is immortalized on this weather vane sitting on top of the pavilion?
Jonty Rhodes diving for the ball!
Yet another unusual feature is the enormous Jacaranda tree situated inside the boundary on the actual playing field - joining the St Lawrence ground in Canterbury Kent, where a giant lime tree occupies a regal position inside the boundary. Local rules apply and any ball struck onto the tree counts four runs, but to score a six the ball must be hit right over the tree without touching the foliage.
Until a few moments ago I had never seen any part of the movie Zulu Dawn starring Peter O'Toole, Bob Hoskins, John Mills, Burt Lancaster and others. I have put this brief U-Tube footage here as it shows the Victorian Cricket Pavilion (through the dust ) and also Peter O'Toole riding a horse. The horse was doped by our veterinarian friend before Mr.O'Toole swung into the saddle. At the time we had a good laugh about it but I guess when you're one of the main characters they can't have your steed taking off into the hills! Other friends who owned a restaurant were quite excited when some of the actors including O'Toole showed up one night for a steak. Nearly every morning on the way to work we would catch a glimpse of extras walking along the sidewalk donned in their red jackets and white pith helmets - a strange sight if you didn't know there was a movie in the making!
The film shows a bandstand. This is no more as it blew over in a violent storm some years ago and has never been replaced. You can also see 'the famous Jacaranda tree' if you watch carefully.
The nearby roads also have royal names.
At the top of Princess Elizabeth Drive it meets up with Alexandra Road and one of the oldest police stations in the city. Completed in 1890, and formerly the Natal Mounted Police Headquarters.
Where to next... I don't know but I think we may drive just outside the city if the weather is good.
I find it interesting that the city retained its Boer name while Englishness was imposed everywhere else: the large late-Victorian style public buildings (that look like some in Deyana's thread about Fredericton, New Brunswick), the street names for British royalty, the cricket & rugby ...
Aahhh ~~ more beauty, more green belts! Tod, what is the weather like there? If it's been known as The Garden City & has had parks for such a long time, that must mean you have ample rainfall, I'd think.
I adore the Pavilion and the police station is a really handsome building, too. It seems that a good deal of thought was put into having a cohesive style for the town. Or is that just a coincidence?
Haven't run away...... Just got to find a cooler weekend When the temps are in the high 30+C it's a sweaty business. Now today was a wonderful 29C with lots of cloud but I had promised to cook a Sunday roast for my mum so there were only a few brief moments to capture some stuff. l will try and put it all together this week
Cooler weather this weekend has made scouting around with a camera more pleasurable!
I am going back to this photo to start off our 'out of town' photos as they all follow on from here:
Through the city and out the other side the driver has two choices - to go onto the freeway until Hilton Village, or drive up the old road that used to be the main road to Johannesburg. It's called Old Howick Road and I use it often to go to Hilton to do my shopping. This winding uphill road takes you past World's View which I pointed out in this first photo.
Halfway up we turn off into a side road.
This is World's View - The flat top mountain in the distance is also called Table Mountain - the red roofs to the left are the main government hospital - the stretch of pale cream roofing is our latest shopping mall and the little hill in front of that with a water reservoir on top is where I live.
The end of the old Voortrekker road as it used to come over the hill.
Voortrekker road still in evidence coming up the hillside below World's View.
Back along the same road we see a house which presumably belongs to the forestry department. I think they've given it their own road name....
Another home named after a lovely place just outside London...
Carrying on up the hill to the village of hilton, one can look back and see World's View below.
Down below once again we drive past the start of the old road and its continuation in a dirt track up the hill. It's very popular with ramblers and here they come!
Next photos; a visit to a mosque with a difference.
Post by frenchmystiquetour on Jan 29, 2012 21:59:46 GMT
tod - If the only words in this report were "This is where I live" this would have still been a remarkable report with all the great photos of these marvelous Victorian era buildings. But your storytelling and historical tidbits put this right over the top. Really, just a wonderful and fascinating thread. I've been going over it for at least the last hour and it I wish I could just walk out my door right now and have breakfast at Rosehurst.
Having been a real estate appraiser for 20 years I am interested in architectural details and building styles and it's interesting to see how the Victorian style was adapted to local tastes in different countries yet still looks so easily identifiable as Victorian.
I think FMT needs to do a bike tour to World's View. Very well done tod.
Thank you - All so very kind and much appreciated!
There are many mosques throughout the city. Some down a narrow alleyway, others in the main street that runs through Pietermaritzburg like a long straight artery, and others in the suburbs standing proudly in an elevated position. Until Saturday afternoon I had no idea that there are actually two different Islamic groups here. Well, that all changed when we went up to the 'secret' mosque located in a suburb only a kilometer or so from the city center. Secret not that it is taboo to go there, but secreted away from public eye because of it's position in amongst trees and shrubs. We were met by a jovial chap at the gates who ushered us inside and gave us a mini tour. As I asked a few questions about the incense sticks and little offerings that I had noticed, he explained that this mosque was attended by Sunnis. Now of course I've heard of Shias and Sunnis but never thought for a moment any of our mosques could be separated into more than one group. Here in our city the two groups are Sunnis and Tablick.
Here is the tour in photos:
One of two shrines to "a Holy god" - I don't know the name, sorry. (See what I mean about 'different' - I had no idea a certain sect worshiped Allah through other gods).
Dozens of rows of little graves without any name. They are very old and go back to poor families in the late 1800's/early 19th century.
A very well attended grave by the looks of the fresh flowers and incense sticks..
The mosque itself - very small but had beautiful carpets. Couldn't get a clear shot through the glass.
We are invited!! It's going to fantastic.
The old wash area ?
The courtyard of the new building - fountain still to be connected.
Near the entrance butted up against the wall is a very very neglected Jewish Cemetery! You can tell how high above the city it is.
The city of Pietermaritzburg is so charming and your photos show it so well, Tod. The gardens so elegant and well maintained. The houses and buildings that have so much character, just the kind of place I'd love to see.
It was good to go through these towns with you and follow your memories. Thanks.
Tod, this is absolutely fascinating. The mosque and its grounds are lovely and serene. I'm so ignorant about almost all of South Africa's history. What ethnic or national group brought Islam to this part of Africa and how long ago, please? You say there are many mosques throughout the city, so it must be a major religion in the area, correct?
The Jewish cemetery looks completely abandoned. Are there synagogues or any kind of Jewish presence in present-day Pietermaritzburg?
I'm very excited that you all are invited to .......... to what, exactly? ;D
Can't tell you how wonderful it is that you're taking us around your home in this way.
RISE OF ISLAM IN AFRICA Islam entered Africa (Ethiopia) before it reached the Indus river of India, or the poppy fields of Afghanistan, the heart of Palestine, Iraq or Persia or even the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia. The process of Islamization in West Africa was by African traders such as the Fulani. Islamization and Arabization was the principle process which operated in North Africa (including Sudan) resulting in its Arabized Berber population. The process in East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) was the legacy of Arab colonialization, with the exception of Abyssinia (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti) and to some extent Somalia. In West Africa, Islam was the religion of the elites, merchants and rulers for over 1000 years.
Two forces silently worked themselves out in the background of African life, the Islamization of the area and the equally potent Africanization of Islam.
And gradually spread to the ordinary person. However, the massive shift came with colonialization which alien to both Islam and the indigenous faiths. Islam for sociological factors found a mass audience. The Wolof for example, who were historically resistant to Islam, peaceful became a dominant force in Islam. In Arabia and beyond very few sources from the period have survived. Some historians suggest that the Sassanid, Persian and Byzantine Roman empires were militarily and economically exhausted from decades of fighting each another and overwhelmed by Islamic force which sprung up overnight. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I also found out that we have Sufi, Sunni, and Shia (Jafari)Mosques throughout South Africa.
The function to which we are invited, is for the celebration as posted on the mosque wall outside - All we've been told is that it's lots of bright lights adorning every conceivable structure! What actually takes place will be a surprise to us, but we intend to be there with cameras in action ;D I have to wear a scarf around my head ( as I did when walking around taking photos in the shrine and graveyard area).
I think you'll find that in short, apart from a renegade few who ended up in Ethiopia not long after the death of Mohammed, Islam was mostly introduced by the traders going from port to port around Africa. Tod, if you have many types of Christians in SA there's no reason not to have a few different types of other religions as well. It's just you don't notice them as different sects I suppose.
The strange plant is the Penisium Circumciserum. Well known only in certain areas and named because the seed pod resembles the end of a circumcised male appendage. The whole large bush is fairly unique in that the pod appears after it has flowered - and pushes the petals apart so far that they drop off leaving the pod behind. The plant is 'de-flowered' by the pod, this being the origin of the phrase whereby a female loses her virginity.
Well done Mark and thanks for the I.D. - Where else have you come across this strange plant? It is very prolific in the gardens, forming thick hedges.
Yes, we have more Christian religions than ever since the 'escapees' from Zim and farther north have flooded across our uncontrolled borders. I will be highlighting a few in more photos around the centre of the city. We do a lot of business with Muslim suppliers of haberdashery and fabrics and have always just regarded them as all the same. Some, like the christian beliefs are more religious than others.
I love the plane trees in the first lane, perhaps because they look familiar to Europeans?
All of the other plants are great, too, because I am discovering some of them for the first time. I would imagine that certain imported plants are mixed with the local ones, since the people of European extraction who created such places generally wanted some trees or bushes from "back home" even if they had never been back home.