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The town of Bethlehem was founded in 1864 (other sources claim 1869). It is nestled in the Maluti Mountains in the Free State Province and is one of the towns that grew rapidly after it was founded. The rapid growth was due to the town being connected to Johannesburg, Harrismith and Bloemfontein by rail. The town’s name is of Hebrew origin and means “house of bread”. It is so named because the town boasts fertile land where wheat grows in abundance. Today the town is a leading tourist attraction. One of its most famous sights is the stone mound found just outside the town. The mound was created when miners used to throw stones as an act of gratitude to their ancestors for keeping them safe on their way to and from work in the mines.