City Hall

The Pietermaritzburg City Hall is the city’s most well known landmark and was rebuilt following the destruction by fire of its predecessor in 1898, after only seven years of existence. The new City Hall was formally opened on 14th August 1902, by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, later to be King George V and Queen Mary.


The elegant three-storey building is believed to be the largest brick-built building in the Southern Hemisphere. Among its notable features are a Phoenix on the southern façade, perhaps symbolising the rise of the new from the ashes of the old, and a 47-meter-high clock tower housing a 100kg Westminster quarter chime tower clock. The clock’s pendulum swings every 2 seconds and it displays the time on four three-metre diameter cast-iron dials. The City Hall also has one of the largest pipe organs in the Southern Hemisphere; a Brindley and Foster with 3806 pipes ranging in size from 11 meters long to the size of a knitting needle.