Blantyre is a city in the Shire Highlands, in southern Malawi. It adjoins the town of Limbe and is known for its British colonial architecture and nearby parks and reserves.
1. A brief history
Blantyre was founded by missionaries of the Established Church of Scotland in 1876 and named the town after the birthplace of David Livingstone in 1813, a small town southeast of Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, in Scotland. The settlers needed protection from the local tribes as they regularly raided the town, so they encouraged business and trade, the trade in ivory was especially popular. Easily accessible and a healthy climate more European and Asian settlers flocked. Blantyre quickly became the most important settlement in Malawi and a trade crossroads for southern Africa.
2. Oldest House in Malawi
Blantyre has several old colonial buildings. The Old Boma which is Blantyre’s former town hall, and the Mandala House, which dates back to 1882 and is said to be the oldest and first two storey house, still standing, in Malawi.
3. St. Michael and All Angles Church
The Red brick St. Michael and all Angels church was built by Scottish missionaries and a group of local men in 1891. None of the missionaries or local men had any training in architecture or building practices makes the construction even more impressive.
3. Soccer Teams
Blantyre in host to some of the top soccer teams in the
Malawi Premier Division also referred to as TNM Super League
BE FORWARD Wanderers (Blantyre)
Bullets FC (Blantyre)
Escom United (Blantyre)
Tigers FC (Blantyre)
5. Commerce and Industry
Blantyre is Malawi’s centre of finance and commerce, is its second largest city with a growing estimate of 1,000,000 inhabitants as of 2018. It is recognised as the commercial and industrial capital of Malawi as opposed to the political capital which is Lilongwe. Blantyre is the capital of the country’s Southern Region as well as the Blantyre District.
Blantyre sits in the Shire Highlands, at an altitude of some 1,039m. The altitude brings with it relatively moderate weather, not as moderate as Scotland, but the coolness that would have been required by Europeans!
7. Historic Accommodation
The international tourists normally flock to the South African owned Protea Hotel Ryalls. This building dates back to 1921, a piece of Blantyre history itself. It has a courtyard swimming pool for the hot afternoons.
Watch this short video to get a feel of Blantyre today.