A unique building in the heart of the city.
The Campanile has a rich history within Port Elizabeth and has long been an iconic feature of the friendly city’s skyline. Although the Campanile has been partially overshadowed by the construction of Settler's Freeway, it remains a focal point of the city's built environment.
One could go into immense detail about the rich historical development of this structure, however, on this cache page, only a brief summary of its history and some interesting facts are provided. Should you wish to learn more there are many online resources and of course, there is no substitute for visiting GZ, exploring, and listening to what the guide has to say.
The early days - before settlers freeway
A brief history of the Campanile
Currently situated adjacent to the entrance to the harbor, as well as the train station, it was constructed as a memorial to commemorate the landing of the British settlers in 1820. Construction began when the foundation stone was laid on 9 April 1921 by Prince Arthur of Connaught, governor of what was then the Union of South Africa.
It was constructed mainly of brick and reinforced concrete, with the dressed stone used to construct the base been taken from some of the oldest buildings in the city. The majority of the materials were sourced from Grahamstown.
Part of the early clock mechanism
Some of the bells in original position
A notable feature of the Campanile is the clock and bell carillon mounted at the top of the tower.
The clock; specially manufactured in England and installed by local firm J Joseph and Sons, was set going at 12 noon on 28 April 1925. At this time no bells were installed. In July of 1936, after a steady growth of funds and a generous contribution from the City Council, the municipality was able to obtain the bells from Gillett and Johnston Limited. Those 23 bells, with a gross weight of over 16 tons, comprised one of the largest carillons in South Africa.
The largest bell in the carillon is approximately 6 feet (+-1.8m) in diameter and weighs between three and four tons. The bells were hoisted into position in the belfry during July 1936 and the first recital on the carillon was given on 9 September 1936.
The Campanile today
The restored bells and supports been replaced
Over time, age caught up with the structure and, as with many other buildings of heritage, major renovations were needed to restore it. The Campanile was closed to the public for a considerable amount of time (nearly 2 years) and reopened on 15 August 2017.
Aside from the needed structural renovations, many other new features have been added to the iconic structure. It has been incorporated as the starting point of Route 67, a historical journey through Port Elizabeth, beginning with the arrival of the 1820 settlers and continuing to the leaders of today.
The trip to the top of the Campanile comprises of 204 steps, but do not fear, part of the 2017 renovations included the installation of a lift, so the breath-taking views of the harbor from the “Observation Room” at the top of the tower can be savored by all visitors. The campanile now boasts the country’s largest carillon of bells, since 2 new bells were added during the renovations, the carillon now comprises of 25 Bells and weighs 17 tons.
Further information on the campanile and the renovations can be found at the following websites (as well as many others):
The youtube link provides a very informative look into the recent restoration of the site.
The following online webpage has not been checked by Groundspeak or by the reviewer for possible malicious content and access to the relevant sites is at your own risk. I, as the cache owner, represent that the pages is safe to visit.
youtube link --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?=411&v=VVMGVcNWCg4
Mon-Fri : 09:00 – 16:00
Sat : 09:00 – 15:00
Sun : Closed
As of 18 September 2017 there was no charge to visit the site.
Requirements to log this Virtual Cache
1) Upload a photo with your log of any view out from the top.
Include in this photo something to identify yourself, as well as the date.
(your GPS, part of your hand, a newspaper, a potato with your caching handle/date written on it, ect.
See how creative you can be)
2) Email or message me the answers to the following questions:
Who, or what, "are guardians in making"?
(all three words required)
(the mural outside will give you the answer)
There is a manufacturers logo on the stainless steel piano used to play the ghost bells.
What are the last four numbers of this manufacturers contact number visible on the logo?
Of course, selfies are welcome, but not required.
Please do not upload any photos showing the answer to the question.
*** Any logs not meeting these requirements, after a period of 2 weeks, will be deleted ***
Virtual Reward - 2017/2018
This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.