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“A working monument.”

Ranked #2 of 19 things to do in Grahamstown
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Attraction details
Owner description: This memorial on Gunfire Hill is dominated by the stunning Settlers Garden.
East London, South Africa
Level Contributor
198 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“A working monument.”
Reviewed July 2, 2012

This imposing monument has panoramic views of Grahamstown.
It was originally built as a memorial for the settlers who arrived from England in the 1820's.
Now it is a working centre which promotes the wide diversity of arts and culture in South Africa.
During July of each year it becomes a hive of cultural activities when the National Arts Festival is held.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank MervynGatcke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jeffrey's Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Spacious entertainment area”
Reviewed May 12, 2012

Always a ball during the Grahamstown festival .
Large spacious halls and arenas and theatres - usually something going on in the year

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
Thank GarthFord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“SciFest 2012”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

A broad range of the engineering & science potential in South Africa. Combined with 70,000 students - fantastic.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank WoodyShonet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
surrey, england
Level Contributor
125 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“it's ugly but functional - better that than pretty and of no use”
Reviewed February 16, 2012

on a hill overlooking this university town, the monument is principally a series of lecture theatres, stages and meeting rooms. it's surrounded by a garden and offers views to the distant hills.
the idea was that of prof guy butler, legendary professor of english who massively expanded his section of the university's offering and founded the literary festival that fills the town during the winter vacation. the solar calendar in the gardens is interesting and justifies the time it will take to decipher and understand but it's the main concrete building that is the rationale and certainly a better monument to the settlers who were the first influx of europeans in this region than some sterile piece of artwork or museum with display cabinets. this is alive with those attending events and university students during semesters. a living, breathing monument. the façade is said to mimic scaffolding, to emphasise that the whole centre is a work in progress, something that keeps changing and growing. esoteric thought maybe, but accurately reflecting the purpose of the whole monument.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank famwag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“practical rather than aesthetic”
Reviewed December 18, 2011

Not sure why someone decided to build such a huge and forbidding building ontop of the mounain and away from town. It has very serviceable theatres and exhibition spaces, only a very basic cafe, very efficient staff.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank wideyed_wander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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