Since the 1990’s, the Msunduzi Museum in Pietermaritzburg an agency of the National Department of Arts and Culture has been transformed from a historically single-themed museum to one that depicts the heritage of different cultural groups of KwaZulu-Natal.
The museum was created in 1912 as a tribute to the Voortrekkers. Voortrekker history is the main focus in the Voortrekker Complex, i.e. the historic Church of the Vow, the Andries Pretorius House and the E.G. Jansen Extension.
The Voortrekker Memorial Church and historic Church Hall were also recently acquired for the Museum by the National Department of Arts and Culture
The Main building is home to a variety of cultural-history exhibitions which are also constantly being upgraded and expanded, like ‘ A Tapestry of Cultures’ on the Mezzanine floor. Those interested in the history of the Struggle for Democracy, may find the Birth of Democracy Display on the ground floor informative.
The Museum also boasts a replica Hindu Shiva temple and a beautiful herb garden.
A display on the the South African (Anglo-Boer) War can be seen at the Voortrekker House, 333 Boom Street. The house is opened on Tuesdays and Fridays from 07h30 – 15h00, on other days opening can be arranged on request by contacting the Museum at 033 394 6834.
VENUE FOR HIRE
The Museum hires out its Memorial hall and Memorial Church to the public. Enquiries can be directed to Receptionists at 033 394 6834/5/6. Mondays to Fridays.
NCOME MUSEUM, NQUTHU
THE NCOME-BLOOD RIVER HERITAGE SITE IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE BATTLEFIELDS IN SOUTH AFRICA. THE SITE WITNESSED A MAJOR BATTLE BETWEEN THE VOORTREKKERS AND AMAZULU ON 16 DECEMBER 1838, AND IS NAMED AFTER THE NEARBY RIVER KNOWN AS ‘NCOME’ IN ISIZULU AND ‘BLOEDRIVIER’ IN AFRIKAANS.
The site is unique in that it has two museums in close proximity re-interpreting the same events. Visitors are therefore exposed to different interpretations and points of view.
The Ncome Museum building was designed in the shape of buffalo horns, which was the formation, initiated by King Shaka kaSenzangakhona, in which the Zulu army attacked. The Museum came into being in 1999 as part of the National Government’s Legacy project of preserving the histories of all people of South Africa