Port Elizabeth is situated in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The city is one of the host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa (which kicks off on the 11th of June 2010). The newly built Nelson Mandela stadium is the venue that will be used for games in the tournament. Port Elizabeth has been selected as the topic for the 10 Facts section of the blog today.
- The Port Elizabeth area was first visited by the Portuguese in 1482. For 100 years it remained in the hands of the Portuguese as a vital port for outbound ships on the Cape route to India.
- Today about 1.2 million people live in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipal area (which mostly consists of Port Elizabeth). The city is the 5th largest in South Africa.
- Port Elizabeth was founded in 1820 by Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin. 4,000 British settlers settled in the area. He named the town after his deceased wife Elizabeth.
- The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) was formed in 2005 by the amalgamation of the University of Port Elizabeth, Vista University and the Port Elizabeth Technikon. It is the largest university in the Eastern and Southern Cape, with around 24,000 students in seven faculties spread over eight campuses.
- The Campanile (bell tower) in Port Elizabeth was built in 1923 to commemorate the arrival of the 1820 Settlers and offers a great viewpoint over the city.
- Schalk Burger (Springbok rugby player), Wayne Parnell (South African cricketer), Robin Peterson (South African cricketer), Ashwell Prince (South African cricketer) and Mike Catt (former English rugby player) were all born in Port Elizabeth.
- Port Elizabeth is nicknamed “P.E.” by South Africans and is also known as “the Friendly City”, “The Windy City” and “The 10 minute City”.
- Port Elizabeth has 40 km of unspoiled coastline (consisting mostly of beaches).
- The oldest bowling green in South Africa is in Port Elizabeth.
Watch this space for more 10 facts posts covering interesting topics.