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Bloemfontein Attractions



Maphikela House

In 1912, prominent black leaders gathered here and forged the foundations of what would eventually become the ruling party of the country. The house was built in 1926 and was Maphikela’s second house, following his forced removal from Waaihoek. Thomas Mtobi Maphikela was one of the founder members of the Executive Committee of the ANC in Bloemfontein in 1935 and speaker of the organisation for more than 25 years. Many important ANC meetings were held in Maphikela House, which is now a National monument.

Visits by Prior arrangements with the family as it’s still a residential area

Dikgareteneng Houses

row of 12 A houses on each side of the opposite streets which were built in 1952 to coincide with the visit of King George V visit to Bloemfontein in order to conceal the squatter settlements in the area.

Location: Namane Street, Bochabela


Old Presidency

The presidents of the former Republic of the Free State used the stately old Presidency, built in 1885, by Lennox Canning, as their official residence. The building has since been restored and is now a museum. It is situated in President Brand Street.

Location: c/o Pres Brand & St George

Address: Priv. Bag X20543, Bfn, 9300

Hours: Mon – Fri:  08:00 – 15:30

Tel: +2751-4480949

Entrance: Free

e-mail: maloro@sac.fs.gov.za

Anglican Cathedral


An exquisite example of Victorian architecture, especially Victorian windows. Major Henry Warden laid the foundation stone of the building, the third oldest Anglican Church in South Africa, in 1850. The famous author, JRR Tolkien and his brother were baptised in the font of the Cathedral and their father lies buried nearby. Rudyard Kipling also worshipped in the Cathedral.

St. George Street

Tel: +2751 4482961

Hours: By appointment only


St Peter’s Church A sub church to the Methodist church in southern Africa and is situated in Tsoai Street in Bochabela. Peter Sejake was killed by police while attending the rally there in the 1980s.

St Phillips Church


After forced removals from Waaihoek, Coloured people were settled to what is now Heidedal and it was one of the first churches to be built in this area.
AME Church (African Methodist Episcopal) – 13 roomed church and is situated in Batho Location Gonyane Street, documents of the ANC where hidden on the floor of that church, and African Americans use to conscientise the masses there in the 1970s.
Bloemfontein Public Library

The library houses an interesting collection of Africana and a unique collection of drama texts.

Location: c/o West Burger & Charles

Address: P O Box 1029, BFN

Hours: Mon – Fri: 10:00 – 17:00

Sat: 08:30 – 12:00

Tel: +2751-4058244

e-mail: doret.dutoit@mangaung.co.za


Bram Fischer House

The Bram Fischer House, was the home of the Fischer family from 1910 to 1946. Bram Fischer, born in 1908, was a member of the Communist party and the lawyer who represented the African National Congress (ANC) members accused in both the Treason and Rivonia Trials in the 1960s. He was arrested in 1965 and sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was also incarcerated. Fischer was later transferred to a hospital after being diagnosed with cancer and died in 1976.

72 Reitz Avenue, Westdene

City Hall

The old City Hall, designed by Sir Gordon Leith in 1935 and built of sandstone, is located in President Brand Street, a declared National Conservation area. The beautiful Burmese wood panelling inside the building and the Italian tiles are particularly interesting.

Location: c/o Pres. Brand & Charles

Address: P O Box 3704, Bloemfontein,

Hours: 08:00-14:15

Tel: +2751-4058911

Web:    www.mangaung.co.za

Appeal Court

The Appeal court was completed in 1929 and serves as the highest court in South Africa. The stinkwood-panelled court room itself is probably the most magnificent in the country, while the judge’s library adds dignity to the already outstanding building. Bloemfontein has been South Africa’s judicial capital since 1910.

Location: c/o Pres. Brand & Elizabeth Entrance in Elizabeth Str.

Address: P O Box 258,

Hours: Visits by appointment only.

Tel: +2751 4127400

Entrance:        Free

e-mail: BaMashininr@justice.gov.za

Bram Fisher Building previously, the Civic Centre

In contrast to the historic sandstone buildings lining President Brand Street, the Bram Fisher Building is a modern-day “glass palace”. It serves as the headquarters of the Mangaung Municipality. A bust of Bram Fisher is located in the entrance hall of the building.

c/o Markgraaff & Nelson Mandela Drive

Hours: 07:45 – 16:15

Tel: +2751-4058911

Web:    www.mangaung.co.za


Supreme Court Building:

The Supreme Court Building in President Brand Street was built in 1909 in the Ionic style. Its fluted columns are typical of this classical “temple” style architecture. Location: c/o Pres. Brand & Fontein

Address: Priv. B x20612, Bfn, 9300

Hours: By appointment only

Tel: +2751-4478837

Entrance: Free

First Raadsaal (Council Chamber)

Found in St. George Street, was built in 1848/9 in the building style of the time — white-washed walls, a dung floor and a thatched roof. The Raadsaal is the oldest building in Bloemfontein that still survives in its original state and is indeed unique because it housed nearly every civilian institution of the time – from the local town school to the chamber of the Free State Volksraad (Parliament) in 1854. In 1936 the building was proclaimed a National monument.

Location: 95 St. George Street

Address: P O Box 266, BFN, 9300

Hours: Mon – Fri:  10:00 – 13:00

Sat & Sun: 14:00 – 17:00

Tel: +2751-4479610

Entrance: Free

Web:    www.nasmus.co.za

Fourth “Raadsaal” (Council Chamber)

The fourth “Raadsaal” building, the last home of the “model” Free State Republican Parliament, was completed in 1893. Its architect, Lennox Canning, designed this impressive edifice in classical style with Doric columns and a

Domed tower. The original benches used by the members of the Free State Republican Parliament are still intact, as is the original, beautifully carved wooden Coat of Arms of the Free State.

Location: c/o Pres. Brand Street & Charles Streets

Address: Private Bag X50005, BFN

Hours: By appointment only

Tel: +2751-4071115

Fax: +2751-4483340

Jubileum Building The Jubileum Building was constructed in the 1920s and is a popular venue for concerts, political meetings and exhibitions.
Twin-spired Church

The twin-spired church, in Charles Street, is the only twin-spired Dutch Reformed Church in Southern Africa. The building was completed in 1880 on the site of a smaller church where the famous Scottish-born evangelist and writer Andrew Murray ministered. The last three presidents of the old Free State Republic took their oath of office in this church.

Location: Charles Street

Hours: By appointment only

Tel: +2751-4304274

Klein Magasa hall The hall where Nelson Mandela gave an address before the 1995 adoption of the Freedom Charter.

Lebohang Building


This building, with an extraordinary stained glass and concrete panel especially visible at night, houses offices of the Free State Provincial Government.

Provincial Government Building


Previously known as the CR Swart Building, this magnificent high rise structure houses departments of the Free State Provincial Government and the head office of the Performing Arts Council of the Free State (PACOFS).

c/o Markgraaf & Elizabeth Str

Tel: +2751-4477771

Grave of Martha Moipone Motlhakwane


She was a fearless domestic worker who was at the forefront of organising the milestone 1956 women’s anti-pass march. Her home was also used as a secret place for holding ANC meetings. She died in 1989.


Naval Hill

Dominating the Bloemfontein skyline, standing proudly in the heart of the City of Roses is Naval Hill. It was named after the naval guns brought in by the British in order to fortify the position against attack during the second world war. Standing atop this geographic wonder, you are provided with an exquisite panoramic view of Bloemfontein. Located within the Franklin Game Reserve, it is known for both its natural beauty and its historical significance.

Franklin Game Reserve on Naval Hill is second reserve in the world situated in the middle of the city. The reserve was established in 1930 and encompasses an area of 250 hectares. Within the reserve you will discover amazing African wildlife including zebra, blesbok, springbok, giraffe and eland as well as abundant bird life. Visitors are welcomed into the Franklin Game Reserve for free. A wonderful outing surrounded by indigenous flora and fauna, the reserve attracts residents, tourists and many joggers.

Standing on the crest of flat-topped Naval Hill are 2 British naval guns. Many years ago, Naval Hill was home to Back in 1928 the Mayor of Bloemfontein opened the Lamont-Hussey Observatory on Naval Hill. At that time, it was under the ownership of the University of Michigan. It was however closed in 1974 and later revamped into a lovely theater called Observatory Theater or Sterrewag Theater. Also standing on Naval Hill is the White Horse, a sculpture set-up during the Anglo-Boer War by Wiltshire Remount Depot’s men. The massive statue was an excellent landmark for the British cavalry who were returning to the depot. Certain of Bloemfontein’s Sotho people say that the White Horse was created in the image of King Mosoeshoe’s top steed. It is said that every time someone receives a kiss at Naval Hill the large White Horse moves one step forward.

Franklin Game Reserve along with Naval hill is accessible between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Naval Hill is an easily seen and remarkable landmark within the city of Bloemfontein. Providing people with an escape into nature and magical views of the City of Roses.