To renew my car’s Warrant of Fitness, which proves it complies with safety regulations, I had to leave it one day at the garage. I spent that day in Christchurch, a city I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see otherwise.

Christchurch, as the main city in the Canterbury province, is also the main city on the South Island of New Zealand, with a population of about 400,000 similar to that of Wellington. Built on a flat and windswept plain, it was badly hurt by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that took 185 lives. These disasters have shaped today’s Christchurch like nothing else: on the one hand, several buildings remain in ruins, access forbidden by high fences, like the iconic cathedral.

The Cathedral

On the other hand, many new buildings have been built, giving the city a new and shiny look. The central library is stunning, the central bus station looks amazing, and the Transitional Cathedral, built as a temporary replacement for the cathedral as the old building’s fate was to be decided, is simply beautiful.

The central library
The central bus station
The Transitional Cathedral

In short, Christchurch looks like a new city. Under the sun, it shone bright and felt lively. I hope it will remain that way, even after the terror attacks of 15 March 2019.

Image by Shaun Yeo



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