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Bloemfontein

Afrikaans name: Bloemfontein

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Nelson Mandela statue on Naval Hill

Photo © Johan van Zyl

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Bloemfontein at sunset from Naval Hill

Bloemfontein sunset

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Free State

Bloemfontein is not only the capital of the Free State province, it is the judicial capital of South Africa and the most centrally situated city in the country.

The name Bloemfontein means "fountain of flowers" in Dutch and Afrikaans. The indigenous Sesotho people called it Mangaung which means "place of the cheetahs" or "place of the leopards".

In 1840 a settler named Johannes Brits started to farm on the site of modern day Bloemfontein. Major Warden bought the farm from Brits in 1846.

Bloemfontein grew around Naval Hill which is now a great place to get a view of the city. A statue of Nelson Mandela may be seen at the top.

There are numerous historic buildings and monuments to be seen in Bloemfontein including the Old Presidency, Queens Fort, National Women's Monument and the Towers of Hope church.

The Free State National Botanical Gardens, which house 400 species of plants, are well worth a visit.

The Old Presidency, Bloemfontein

Above - The Old Presidency, Bloemfontein.

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Bloemfontein Town Hall

Above - Bloemfontein Town Hall

Photo © Johan van Zyl

National Women's Monument and Die Bittereinder Monument

Above - National Women's Monument and Die Bittereinder Monument

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Civic Centre also know as the 'Glas Paleis'

Above - The Civic Centre building is also known as the "Glas Paleis" (Glass Palace)

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Twee Toring NG Kerk, Bloemfontein

Above - This Dutch Reformed Church is known as the Towers of Hope

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Supreme Court on lefthand side

Above - The Supreme Court building can be seen on the left bank of the canal.

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Bloemfontein CBD seen from Naval hill looking in a westerly direction

Above - View from Naval hill looking in a westerly direction

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Bloemfontein CBD seen from Naval Hill looking in a southern direction

Above - View from Naval Hill looking in a southern direction

Photo © Johan van Zyl

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