Art Route 67, Port Elizabeth
Did you know?
The Donkin Reserve is also known as the ‘balcony of the city’ of Port Elizabeth.
Art Route 67 in the Central area of Port Elizabeth is 1 of the most exciting South African inner-city developments of recent times.
Visual arts, urban design and heritage assets are all combined into 1 experience aimed at uniting all segments of a formerly divided community and showing the world what magic exists in the post-apartheid era.
Visit the Donkin Reserve in Central and take a walk down to the old lighthouse where, incidentally, you will also find the headquarters of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism. You will find yourself surrounded by a mix of exquisite old Victorian churches, newly renovated, terraced cottages on Donkin Street, a lighthouse that once guided ships into Algoa Bay, and a large pyramid built by a former governor in memory of his deceased wife.
These are landmarks that always made Central special. Nowadays, however, there are more contemporary elements added to the reserve. There is the large metal cut-out resembling Nelson Mandela, fist raised in triumph, leading a line of South Africans as they vote peacefully on 27 April 1994.
Across the lawns there are sheltered booths of sea-blue hues, in the shape of ship sails. Near the terraced houses is a massive set of silver pipes that catch the famous winds of Port Elizabeth and turn them into tunes. And across from the elegant Edward Hotel, is a modern statue of a female holding a chair – open for interpretation by any passer-by. Sometimes, that’s the real charm of public art.
One of the most remarkable elements of Route 67 – a collection of 67 art pieces celebrating the years Nelson Mandela devoted to public life – is the mosaic at the base of the pyramid.
Stroll about this outdoor display and you’ll be exposed to the best elements of the Eastern Cape: the indigenous peopls, the settlers, modern-day sports personalities, Karoo scenes complete with windmills and springbok, nautical settings, and even modern-day traffic circles.
Then walk down the coloured steps past posted artworks, which continue to tell the South African story. Look back up at the lighthouse and you’ll see a wall with more incredibly finished figures: taxi passengers, newspaper vendors and jazz trumpeters, to name a few.
Art Route 67 has also been designed as an important tourism hub for the city, paying respect to its heritage, culture and arts. And as you stand next to a celebrating Mandela, raise your fist with his and wish the City of Port Elizabeth and all its people well...
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Umzantsi Afrika Tours
Tel: +27 (0)41 379 1629
Cell: +27 (0)82 822 4717