South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province's capital and second largest city is Pietermaritzburg. It was founded in 1838 and named after Pieter Retief and Gert Maritz, two leaders of the Voortrekkers who arrived in 1837. Later, the village was taken over and converted into a garrison by the British military as a defense against potential attacks. As the town flourished over the years, many German and British immigrants settled here, and quaint Victorian and Edwardian structures and characteristics still exist today. Strong Victorian roots are evident in the well-preserved architectural style of the buildings and the atmosphere. It is currently a city and the administrative capital of KwaZulu-Natal Province. Msunduzi Local Municipality currently governs the area. The district municipality is referred to by its Zulu name, 'uMgungundlovu' Pietermaritzburg is commonly referred to in Afrikaans, English, and Zulu as "Maritzburg," and is often abbreviated PMB. It is the principal economic center of Umgungundlovu District Municipality and a regionally significant industrial center that produces aluminum, timber, and dairy products. Due to the local, district, and provincial governments located in the city, the public sector is a major employer.
There are numerous schools and tertiary education institutions in the city, including a campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
In 1991, it had a population of 228,549; it is now estimated to have more than 600,000 inhabitants. Pietermaritzburg is a burgeoning metropolis.
Pietermaritzburg, a city with a rich history and heritage, is home to numerous museums, galleries, and monuments. City Hall, Macrorie House, the Natal Museum, the Old Colonial Building, the Old Government House, and the Voortrekker House are examples of historical structures. In 1893, Mahatma Ghandi was evicted from a train at the historic Railway Station, an event that set him on the path to politics.
End of May epic annual road race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban is headquartered at Comrades Marathon House, the newest museum in this city. The direction of the run alternates annually, one year downhill and the next year uphill; it is a grueling 90 kilometers (56 miles) long and one of the most difficult races. The 'Dusi Canoe Marathon', which takes place on the Umsindusi River over a grueling three-day course, is another annual sporting event of interest.
Church Street, which has been converted into a pedestrian walkway and shopping mall, is a pleasant place to shop, stroll, and unwind. In addition, there is a fascinating African Arts and Crafts Center that displays contemporary and traditional handcrafted works, such as rugs, batiks, jewelry, sculpture, and collectors' items.
In and around this city are a number of parks, gardens, and nature reserves, including the beautiful Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens, the Garden of Remembrance for the fallen in two world wars, and the Weeping Cross of Delville Wood, which is located directly across from the City Hall.
Article Courtesy of ww.sahistory.org.za/place/pietermaritzburg-umgungundlovu-district-municipality