Morningside viewing point: From Moses Mabhida Stadium, we took a drive up to uShaka Marine World. Our next stop was The Cube, where we feasted our eyes on the view from the reservoir over the hill on Innes Road, right across from the Hotel Cube. The Cube is exactly what it says. It is a giant 3-D cube that also features wall mural art. The piece rests in a park on the Berea, unveiled as a street art mural a year before the Soccer World Cup in 2010, to function as one of the tourist attractions in Durban.
The Cube is well-known amongst Durbanites as one of the best lookout views over the city, and if it is an outlook over the Moses Mabhida stadium or the harbour you’re after, then look no further, for this is one of the best in Durban.
The original murals on The Cube were painted by a collaborative group of Durban artists; the same group who painted a Human Rights wall painting at the International Convention Centre in Durban.
The Central Post Office: We passed the Central Post Office, originally built as Durban’s first Town Hall and officially opened on 25 October 1885. The Natal Mercury described it as the ‘handsomest Town Hall in the country, whose central hall will be the gathering place of the citizens on every occasion of public or social interest’.
At the time, it was the largest building in South Africa and was designed by Philip M Dudgeon. Winston Churchill spoke to the citizens of Durban from its steps after his escape from the Boers in 1899. From October 12 to November 05 1908, the building was the venue for the National Convention which led to the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
Fairwell Square: Next to the Central Post Office is the Farewell Square (also referred to as Luthuli Square). It was named after Lieutenant Francis Farewell who was instrumental in the decision to establish a permanent trading post in Port Natal (Durban) and persuading a number of white settlers to join him.
The square is located just west of the City Hall on ground which was part of Durban’s market square and apparently where Farewell originally set up his camp. The square is comparatively small yet it includes more monuments than any other space in South Africa.
Among the statues on display are those of Queen Victoria, John Robinson, the first Prime Minister of Natal, and of Harry Escombe, who succeeded him. Also in the square are a Boer War memorial and a Cenotaph honouring the dead of the two world wars. The cenotaph was erected in 1926 as a result of the delay experienced in the delivery of the pottery components from Britain.
It is very interesting in that its bright colour and sunburst motif gives a very strong hint of the Art Deco boom that was to sweep the world a few years later, with Durban being no exception.
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