Frere Hall

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India's architectural landscape started a new era at the turn of the nineteenth century, thanks to the British Raj's political project. With the East India Company's charter renewed in 1813, Christian symbols like church spires and bell towers could be prominently displayed in areas like Karachi, previously off-limits to missionaries. With Augustus Welby Pugin's encouragement, the Gothic style flourished in England during the 1830s, and the country's ruling classes came to view the imposing and 'honest' architecture of the Gothic style—with its strong roots in Christian values—as the primary form of construction for their imperial palaces in the Subcontinent. 

Frere Hall, Karachi's first Indo-Gothic structure, shines prominently against this historical landscape. To honor Henry Bartle Frere's time as Chief Commissioner of Sindh, Frere Hall was built as a landmark in Karachi's predominantly white Civil Lines Quarter. Karachi's first 'public' library was housed in this landmark structure, which had no religious affiliation. 

What to see at Frere Hall? 

- The museum's glass and iron interior court and roof are particularly eye-catching since they are such a direct exposition of Russian architectural concepts.

- Roundels and voussoirs on the facade take on a rainbow of hues thanks to the use of polychromatic stones in yellow, red, white, and gray. 

- Quatrefoils adorned with checkerboard-colored stones, white and gray on the ground level and red and white on the first floor, can be seen above the pointed Venetian arches in the verandah and balcony on all four sides. - Trefoil ball flowers decorate the verandah's little columns, which are styled after Corinthian columns. 

- The building's center's octagonal tower and rose window can be seen from the south facade. The single tower is topped by a crown of trefoils and has remarkable yet understated triangular geometric decorations around its soaring lancet windows. The spirelet, which, like the octagonal tower, is topped with 'Muntz metal,' can be seen clearly from the east and west facades. 

- The public library has an extensive newspaper collection located on the main floor.

  • imageDuration Required
    2 hours

Address of Frere Hall

Fatima Jinnah Rd, Karachi, Pakistan

Opening & Closing time of Frere Hall

  • Monday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Tuesday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Wednesday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Thursday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Friday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Saturday
    Open 24 Hours
  • Sunday
    Open 24 Hours