Bloemfontein is the capital city of the province of Free State and the six the largest city in South Africa.
Bloemfontein was popularly and poetically known as "the city of roses", owing to the abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there.It is also a convenient base to explore other tourist attractions in the Free State.
TOP SITES TO SEE
1.ANGLO BOER WAR MUSEUM - The museum is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the Anglo-Boer Wars of 1899 to 1902. The museum provides an understanding of the background through its unique art collection, dioramas and exhibitions. The course and development of the war unfolds in front of your eyes as you progress through the museum. You are also afforded a glimpse into the life and suffering endured in the concentration and prisoner-of-war camps.
2.NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN - On the outskirts of Bloemfontein, spans a valley between picturesque dolerite koppies. The natural vegetation comprises tall grassland and woodland, dominated by magnificent wild olive and karee trees. The Garden covers 70 hectares, and is home to about 400 species of plants, mainly from the Free State, Northern Cape and Lesotho. It also includes a collection of decorative and hardy trees indigenous to the area.
3.HERTZOG SQUARE - The General JBM Hertzog Monument is standing across the road from Bloemfontein City Hall. General Hertzog was a military officer in the Anglo Boer War and later become Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa. The square consists of fountains, a reflection pool and statue created by sculptor Danie de Jager and was unveiled in 1968.
4.NATIONAL MUSEUM - The National Museum is a natural history, cultural history and art museum and was established in 1877. It displays comprised rarities from around the world. Through the displays and educational programs the museum renders a public serive to its diverse audiences, engaging them in enjoyable and enlightening experiences.
5.OLIEWENHUIS - Oliewenhuis was designed by William Mollison and his assistant John Stockwing Cleland in 1935. In 1961 it became the official residence for the State Presidents during official visits to Bloemfontein. In 1985 State President PW Botha released the residence to the Nation Museum for an art museum. On 11 October 1989, the Oliewenhuis Art Museum was officially open and exhibit works of art which represent the heritage of South Africa’s art.
6.NATIONAL WOMEN’S MONUMENT - The National Women’s Monument commemorating the suffering of some 27,000 Boer women and children who died in British concentration camps during the Second Boer War. The Monument is a Provincial Heritage Site in the Free State.
7.HOFFMAN SQUARE - Hoffman Sqaure has historic significant as it is named after Josias Philip Hoffman, the first President of the Oranje Free State and was establish during the ealy 1930.
8.OLD PRESIDENCY - The Old Presidency used to be the main residence for the last three presidents f the Orange Free State dating back to 1885. The Presidency is now a museum showing off their Victorian lifestyle between 1886 and 1899. Explore the magnificent art exhibitions, musical events and theatrical productions on display.
9.FOURTH RAADSAAL - The Fourth Raadsaal is one of the city's finest buildings and was built in a Renaissance style with red brick and a prominent dome and a portico of lonic columns. The foundation stone was laid by President F. W. Reitz in 1890 and the building was completed in 1893. Today, the building is home to the Free State Provincial Legislature.
10.FIRST RAADSAAL - The First Raadsaal is the oldest remaining building in Bloemfontein. The building with its dung floors and thatched roof was built by Major Henry Douglas Warren as a school in 1849. In 1977 the restored First Raadsaal opened to the public. This unique building with its lonian columns, domed tower and pediment containing the Free State coat of arms in relief and iron railings imported from France. On the grounds stands the equestrian statue of General Christiaan De Wet.
11.MILITARY MUSEUM - The Old Fort was erected in 1848 and originally housed the Artillery Unit of the Free State. The museum depicts all major military conflicts in the Free State from 1820, as well as the struggle against apartheid. It also features historical, military-centric exhibits, along with a tank & fighter jet.
OTHER PLACE TO VISIT
Thanks o the its central location in the semi-arid Highveld, this predominantly modern city is a hub of road and rail traffic and a poplular stopover on the journey between Cape Town and adjacent provinces.