Port Elizabeth is the 5th largest city in South Africa (behind Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria). Port Elizabeth was one of the host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. There’s a lot more to this city though. The Port Elizabeth area has many historical buildings and interesting sites to visit.
Here are 10 things you did not know about Port Elizabeth:
- Port Elizabeth was founded in 1820 by Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin. 4,000 British settlers settled in the area. Donkin named the town after his deceased wife Elizabeth.
- The Port Elizabeth area was first visited by the Portuguese in 1482. For 100 years it remained in the hands of the Portuguese as a vital port for outbound ships on the Cape ship route to India.
- Today more than 1.2 million people live in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipal area (which consists mostly of Port Elizabeth).
- The Campanile bell tower was built in 1923 in Port Elizabeth to commemorate the arrival of the 1820 British Settlers and offers a great viewpoint over the city.
- Fort Frederick (which overlooks Port Elizabeth harbour) served as protection against a possible landing of French troops in the harbour during the Napoloeonic wars when British occupation of the colony first occurred. To date no shot has been fired by the fort’s cannons.
- Port Elizabeth has 40 km of unspoiled coastline (consisting mostly of beaches).
- Port Elizabeth Airport is the 4th busiest airport in South Africa (behind Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town). In 2007 the airport served more than 1.4 million passengers. The airport was established in 1929.
- The oldest bowling green in South Africa is in Port Elizabeth.
- The Springbok rugby player Schalk Burger, South African cricketers Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson and Ashwell Prince and the former England rugby player Mike Catt were all born in Port Elizabeth.
- St George’s Park Cricket ground is the second oldest cricket club in South Africa, the venue for the first Test, the first women’s international Test, the last Test before South Africa’s expulsion from world cricket, the first ever Test series win against Australia, the first Rebel Test, the first Test with the resumption of ‘normal’ cricket and the 6th oldest cricket ground in the world.
There you have it, 10 things you did not know about Port Elizabeth. Feel free to comment if you have an interesting fact to add to this list. Feel free to share this post with your friends if you’ve found it interesting.
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