Braamfontein is one of those places from the days when I worked at Transnet as an appy. There were Transnet offices in almost every building in JHB and Braamfontein and we used to walk between them doing faults and maintenance. In those days I knew the area around Park Station and Braamfontein very well, and all the byways and buildings inbetween. Then I left Transnet and apart from the days when I lived in Hillbrow kind of shunted Braamfontein into the back of my mind. Todays excursion with Past Experiences was to take in parts of Braamfontein and some of the new developments in the area.
Access to the area from Newtown is reasonably easy via the Nelson Mandela Bridge,
but beware of the one ways! Parking was plentiful, and the “pay and display” system is in force. Lots of street art is on display and the area was reasonably clean and well tended. I did like to see the trees that have been planted in the area too, it makes for a much friendlier environment. There are a lot of oldish buildings around, as well as revamped new spaces that are catering towards the student population as well as the art and culture set.
I have always felt Braamfontein was a bit more “airy” than Johannesburg CBD and this is very evident in some of the streets, the real gems do lurk up the side streets though, in old buildings that have found a new life in a city very different from what it was like 50 years ago.
And while we don’t have lions and tigers running around our streets you may encounter a giant Eland on the corner of Bertha and Ameshoff Streets. The area around the Eland probably has the best views down into Johannesburg CBD and Newtown, as well as some surprisingly interesting buildings along its one side. My personal favourites are the Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
And the magnificent building behind it with its now stationary revolving restaurant. It is such a pity that venues like this are no longer in use.
I have added some of my pics to my gallery on my website, because the blog limitations do not really allow for the use of wide panoramic views, but needless to say I took quite a few of those as well.
Some other gems are…..
Then it was time to close off and head off elsewhere, although a stop was made at the Neighbourgoods Market with its tantalising foodstuffs on sale. I had a monument to go photograph so headed off into that direction, but that is another story.
Braamfontein will surprise you though, the area between Newton and Braamfontein, if decked over, could see a whole change in the city of Johannesburg once again. But then they have been speaking about decking over the railway yards since I was a wee tot, so its one of those “believe it when it has happened things”
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