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Frere Hall

FrereHallThis majestic Hall, constructed in a Gothic/Venetian style, was built in 1865 in honour of Sir Bartley Frere, Commissioner and later Viceroy of the region. During the Colonial days it used to serve as a center for the cultural elite of Karachi, holding regular socio-cultural activities.

Today, Frere Hall contains a large public library, the Liaquat National Library, which is one of the few good libraries in Karachi. It has more than seventy thousand books in store, including rare manuscripts, technical reports and journals, and a marvellous collection of atlases. 

The upper floor of the Hall is dedicated to Sadequain, a world renowned Pakistani painter and calligrapher. It is where Sadequain started painting the ceiling in brilliant colours and patterns, but he did not get a chance to complete his work as he passed away. The floor now contains some of his best masterpieces, inlcuding beautiful paintings and calligraphy samples.

The park around the Hall is called Jinnah Park, or Bagh-e-Jinnah. It is usually open to the public and its lush green lawns and leafy trees provide a soothing, comfortable escape from the frenetic life of Karachi.

Due to rising threats to security, the area near Frere Hall had been sealed off to visitors but with the shifting of the US Consulate to a new location near Mai Kolachi, Frere Hall has once again been opened to the public. Its Sunday book bazaar is a great place for bargain hunters.

Location: Abdullah Haroon Road, directly opposite the Marriot Hotel.


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