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of South Africa is quite dry, so it is not surprising that the early
inhabitants chose to stay close to dependable water sources and that many
of the towns have names ending with "-fontein", meaning spring.
The name of the capital of the Free State is a particularly pretty one,
meaning "spring of flowers". Not quite as aesthetic as its name
suggests, it is, nevertheless, an attractive, spacious medium-sized city
with many parks, gardens and monuments.
During the Anglo Boer
War, M T Steyn was President of the Republic of the Orange Free State, as
it was known at the time. In 1880 Bloemfontein became a municipality, with
Robert Innes elected as the first mayor. Bloemfontein’s status was
considerably enhanced in 1919, when it was named the judicial capital of
the Union of South Africa, and even more so when it finally acquired city
status in 1945. It was the discovery of gold and the subsequent
exploration of the goldfields in the northern region, which shifted the
city’s development from that of an agricultural settlement into the
steadily thriving commercial and industrial city it is today.
Game Reserve and Observatory It is othe only game reserve in a
city centre to be known in South Africa. The Lamont Hussey
Observatory, inside the game reserve, has been converted into an
the south-eastern slopes of Naval Hill is the well known white
horse. This horse was laid out during the Anglo Boer War by the
men of the Wiltshire Remount Dept as a landmark for horseman coming in
from the plains
4000 rose trees have been planted in the rose gardens in Kings Park,
which was opened in 1925 by the Prince of Wales.
Zoo is also in this park, well known for it's large collection of
du Plessis Theatre and Opera House is one of the most modern in
Hall, one of numerous impressive sandstone buildings. This building
with its unusual hall was designed by Sir Gordon Leith.
world class performances at the Sand
du Plessis Theatre and Opera House
and bird watching in the Franklin
Game Reserve and Observatory
round of golf at the Bloemfontein Golf Club