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metres above sea level and self styled as 'Queen of the Hills', owes its
origins to a morganatic connection with Rawalpindi. Commanding, as one
guide book put it, 'magnificent views over forest-clad hills into deep
valleys, studded with villages and cultivated fields, with the snow-covered
peaks of Kashmir in the background', it stood naturally eligible to be
selected as a recuperative health resort and as an escape from the heat
of the Punjab plains. A sanatorium for British soldiers was made there
in 1850 and subsequently barracks were built for them in 1853. A school
known as the Lawrence Asylum (now Lawrence College, Ghora Gali)was also
opened for their children. Murree served as the summer capital for the
Punjab Government until 1876 when it was forced to defer to Simla.
|View of Muree Hills, 1863|
OF MURREE HILLS, 1863
Engraving from a phptograph by Capt. Robert T.
Hickey, published in The Illustrated London News, 31
Almost certainly the earliest view of Murree, seen from the Observatory hill, this illustration was derived from a photograph taken by Capt. Robert Hickey, a British officer who might have visited Murree on summer or sick leave in the early 1860s..
Already, less than fifteen years after it had been selected for development, the popularity of Murree
- refreshingly cool at 7500 feet above sea level - had become apparent from the number of houses and cottages which dotted its forested slopes. The Holy Trinity church, visible in the top right corner of the picture, begun in 1857 and completed ten years later, had already been consecrated and was in use by the time of this illustration.
|A view of Muree, 1864|
By the time
this photograph was taken, the identity of Murree recognisable as it appears
today had emerged.
|A view of the bazaar, Muree, 1869|
|The Lawrence Assylum, 1863|
|Roadmaking in the Muree hills, 1863|