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The Old Prison: The Freedom Route Tour

Event information

The Old Prison in Pietermaritzburg is an official heritage site that houses a National Monument and a museum of South Africa’s history within its walls.

The prison features vivid displays and interactive technology, with an opportunity to learn about Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, King Dinuzulu, and other important political prisoners that were held in it. The prison embodies more than 150 years of history, and guests on the prison tour can explore some of these periods, such as Apartheid, Colonial times, the Liberation and Political Struggle and the birth of democracy in South Africa.

Project Gateway, the host of the Freedom Route tour, is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 1992 by churches in Pietermaritzburg as a response to the hurt and turmoil of the 1980s. The building was opened in 1862 with the execution block being constructed in 1934. Visitors to the museum and prison can view the extremely dark torture rooms, the gallows, 'whites only' sections and the hospital and cookhouse. The tour of the prison incorporates five main figures, Alan Paton, John Langalibelele Dube, Albert Luthuli, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Tours of The Old Prison must be arranged in advance by contacting the Project Gateway tourism office. The organisation is involved with many community development programs, such as shelters, food support programmes, Christian schools and community business training and computer literacy courses.

Date: Refer to website

Time: Refer to website

Venue address: 4 Burger St, Pietermaritzburg

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Wheelchair accessibility: Unknown

Tel: 033 845 0400 | 082 784 3729



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