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Bloemfontein is said to have been the property of an old Dutch farmer called Rooi Johan Dolf Brits. Before the arrival of the British army major Henry Douglas Warden, there were old Trekboers dwelling houses in the vicinity although promiscuously scattered around without any attempt whatever at regularity of shape. It is believed that infront of Brits’ house, his wife planted a few flowers, a neighbour called Griesel when visiting them suggested that they should name the place Bloemfontein meaning a ‘fountain of flowers. Major Warden officially adopted the name Bloemfontein in 1846. He founded the place as an outpost of the Transoranje region. Besides the Trekboer occupation of the area, other cultural groups like the Griquas and the Basotho had occupied it.


The city of Bloemfontein is part of the Mangaung Municipality which also includes the towns of Botshabelo and Thaba ‘Nchu, and a rural area. It covers 6 300km2 with a population of just under a million people. The small piece of African Highveld, originally inhabited by Stone Age people was called Mangaung, or ‘place of leopards’ by its Basotho inhabitants, and is today the capital of the Free State, the Judicial capital of South Africa (since 1910). The 4000 rose bushes planted in the magnificent Kings Park have led Bloemfontein to be called the ‘City of Roses’, and the grandiose sandstone buildings which line President Brand Street form a celebration of architecture, a boardwalk of history. The first European to settle here was the farmer Johannes Brits, in 1840. He found conditions favourable around the natural spring that eventually gave the city its name. His farm, bought by Major Warden in 1846, because a highly-prized area of land among missionaries, hunters, Voortrekkers and settlers on these otherwise dry plains. Pioneers in the area were livid at the occupation of the Orange River Sovereignly by Warden and another Englishman, Sir Harry Smith, and ordered them back to the Cape Colony.


The British returned, however, and controlled the Sovereignty until 1854, during which time the newly-named Bloemfontein had grown into a small town. After suffering losses to Moshoeshoe, the Basotho chief, and a change in imperial policy, the British decided to return the Free State to the Boers. A well-spring in the aridity of the lowlands, Bloemfontein began as a typical frontier town, a land of wildebeest and blesbok, a former rest-stop of wagons. This rich history which spans more than 150 years is reflected in the architecture and places of interest that can be found here. These sites are complemented by a landscape characterized by rolling plains and isolated hills. Today it is a modern city with relatively low risks crime areas and is renowned for its warm hospitality, unpretentious people and less destination for those who do not only want to explore a new environment, but also desire to rediscover themselves in the process.








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.





State President Swart Park

Spend a relaxing afternoon at State President Swart Park, renowned for its sporting facilities. Facilities form the focal point for sports activities in the area. This includes a rugby /soccer stadium, cricket stadium, athletics stadium and tennis courts.

Phone:051 448 3428

Address: 6 Huguenot St, Bloemfontein, 9301.


Vadacom Park

The Free State Stadium formerly known as Vodacom Park, is a stadium in Bloemfontein used mainly for rugby union and association football. It was originally built for the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and was one of the venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The capacity of the stadium is 46 000.

Phone:051 407 1743

Address: Kings way, South Horak St,

Bloemfontein, 9300

Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium

This is the second biggest stadium built in a township after the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. The capacity of the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium is 17 972.

The Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium was formerly known as the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium. It is a home of the local PSL side Bloemfontein Celtic

Schoeman Park Golf Course

1904 saw the establishment of Schoeman Park Golf Course when a couple of Scottish railway workers took it upon themselves to construct a nine-hole course to play on. Since that time Schoeman Park has blossomed into a thriving 18-hole course and has in recent years won the coveted Golden Arrow Award for being the Free State’s “most outstanding sports club.”

Telephone Club Manager: 082 773 2519.

051 408-3811

Address, Schoeman Park Golf Club Maselspoort Rd, Bloemfontein 9300

Mangaung Indoor Sport Centre

Offers a variety of sports facilities

Cnr Moshoeshoe Road and Chief Moroka Crescent





Universitas hospital

A specialized medical facility linked with the local University of the Free State’s faculty of Health Sciences.

Address: 1 Logeman St, Bloemfontein, 9301

Phone:051 506 3500

National hospital


A primary emergency facility with a fully equipped Opthalmology Unit. Address: Roth Ave & Kolbe Ave, Bloemfontein, 9301

Phone:051 493 9600

Pelenomi hospital

A medical facility with a newly equipped Ophthalmology Centre. Physical Address: Dr. Belcher Road, Heidedal, Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

Phone: +27 (0)51 405 1911


A full service private hospital with trauma facilities and a specialized cardiac unit. Address: Cnr Kellner & Parfitt Ave Bloemfontein, 9301

Phone:051 404 6666

Rose Park

A full service private hospital with trauma facilities and specialized Neuro surgery and Orthopedic facilities.

Address: 57 Schnehage Cres, Bloemfontein, 9301


Phone:051 505 5111

3 Military hospital

A modern and well equipped military hospital roviding complete medical care for armed forces in the central region of South Africa as well as air rescue support.

Address: Furstenburg Rd, Tempe, Bloemfontein,


Phone:051 402 1886


Full service private hospital Address: 121 Dr Belcher Rd, Bloemfontein, 9323


Phone:051 407 1500







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.










Thomas Maphikela Maphikela House Thomas Maphikela was one of the founder members of the ANC in Bloemfontein in 1912. His double-storey house, where important ANC meetings were held, has been declared a National Monument
Bram Fischer

Abram “Bram” Fischer was born on 23 April 1908 in the Orange Free State. He was born into a prominent Afrikaans family, son of Percy Ulrich Fischer, at the time a member of the Bloemfontein Bar. Percy later became a much-respected Free State judge.

The Fischers were a sixth-generation South African family. Percy’s father was Abram Fischer, a highly regarded politician of conservative outlook. He was the prime minister of the Orange River Colony from 1907 to 1910.

Bram initially was a vocal Nationalist. His schooling was at Grey College, Bloemfontein; from there he went to Grey University College in his hometown. Bram excelled at tennis and rugby. In 1928 he represented the Free State as scrum half against the All Blacks under Maurice Brownlee.

He was also a member of the Congress of Democrats and in 1952 Bram defended Nelson MandelaWalter Sisulu and eighteen other ANC leaders for participating in the Defiance Campaign. The year 1953 saw Bram banned under the Suppression of Communism Act from most gatherings and from the Congress of Democrats. For years thereafter there were police raids on his advocate’s chambers and his house. None of these happenings affected the flow of briefs coming to Bram, outstanding lawyer and counsel. In court he was the epitome of the ideal English barrister: quiet, unassuming, exquisitely polite and thus often disarming to a hostile witness, and, when necessary, devastating in cross-examination. Except for three years, Bram was elected a member of the Johannesburg Bar Council from 1943 to 1963, being chairman in 1961.

Thus, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) was formed, a product of the ANC and the SACP, committed to a violent struggle.

On 11 July 1963 at Lilies leaf farm in Rivonia the police arrested many of the leaders of the liberation movement. At the subsequent trial for sabotage and other charges, one of the accused was Nelson Mandela. Bram, who by a fortunate chance was not on the farm when the police raid took place, led the defence team. In agreeing to appear for the Rivonia accused, Bram courageously took an enormous risk, for he could easily have been correctly pointed out by some of the witnesses for the prosecution as having attended many meetings at Lilies leaf. In the end, eight accused, including Mandela, were found guilty. That they were sentenced not to death but to life imprisonment was partly a result of the dedicated efforts of the defence team.

On 13 June 1964 Molly was killed in a tragic accident in a motorcar driven by Bram, who was overwhelmed by grief.

It was inevitable that his defence of and involvement with anti-Apartheid activists would implicate him in illegal activities and on 23 September 1964 Fischer was arrested for contravening the Suppression of Communism Act. At the start of the trial he was granted bail to argue a case in England, undertaking to return, which he did. The trial commenced on 16 November 1964. On 23 January 1965, however, Bram went underground. In a letter he stated that no one should submit to the barbaric laws and monstrous policy of apartheid.

He was only recaptured in December, disguised as “Douglas Black”. Now his trial was on far more serious charges, including sabotage. In a sworn statement from the dock, he said that there was a higher duty to break immoral laws passed by a small minority to deprive the majority, on account of their colour, of their most elementary rights. “At least one Afrikaner should make this protest.”

In 1966 he was found guilty of violating the Suppression of Communism Act and conspiring to commit sabotage leading to a conviction of life imprisonment. In 1967 he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

In 1974 it became known that Fischer was seriously ill with cancer and liberal newspapers and political leaders mounted an intensive campaign for his release. They were successful and he was moved to his brother’s home in Bloemfontein a few weeks before his death.

Martha Moipone Motlhakwana 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.
Charlotte Maxeke Charlotte Maxeke was born on 7 April 1847 in Fort Beaufort in Cape Town. From a young age Maxeke showed musical talent. She finished primary school early and her parents moved to Kimberly, where Maxeke completed her secondary school. It was at this time that she took part in musical activities. She joined a choir, and traveled throughout Europe performing. One of the highlights was the 1897 Jubilee at the London Royal Albert Hall where she performed for the Queen. Maxeke then travelled to the US on a church scholarship, where she obtained her doctorate in Arts and Humanities. She met her husband Marshall Maxeke during her stay in the US. Upon her return to South Africa, Maxeke took up teaching and also took part in political activities in the African National Congress (ANC). She co-founded the Bantu Women’s League of South Africa, later renamed the ANC Women’s League. Maxeke died on 16 October 1939.
Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela

Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the village of Mvezo, Transkei, on 18 July 1918. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father was Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. In 1930, when he was 12 years old, his father died and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni 1 .

Hearing the elders’ stories of his ancestors’ valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people.

He attended primary school in Qunu where his teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave him the name Nelson, in accordance with the custom of giving all schoolchildren “Christian” names. He completed his Junior Certificate at Clarkebury Boarding Institute and went on to Healdton, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute, where he matriculated.

Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University College of Fort Hare but did not complete the degree there as he was expelled for joining in a student protest.

On his return to the Great Place at Mqhekezweni the King was furious and said if he didn’t return to Fort Hare he would arrange wives for him and his cousin Justice. They ran away to Johannesburg instead, arriving there in 1941. There he worked as a mine security officer and after meeting Walter Sisulu, an estate agent, he was introduced to Lazer Sidelsky. He then did his articles through a firm of attorneys – Witkin, Eidelman and Sidelsky.

He completed his BA through the University of South Africa and went back to Fort Hare for his graduation in 1943. Meanwhile, he began studying for an LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand. By his own admission he was a poor student and left the university in 1952 without graduating. He only started studying again through the University of London after his imprisonment in 1962 but also did not complete that degree.

In 1989, while in the last months of his imprisonment, he obtained an LLB through the University of South Africa. He graduated in absentia at a ceremony in Cape Town

Mandela, while increasingly politically involved from 1942, only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

In 1944 he married Walter Sisulu’s cousin, Evelyn Mase, a nurse. They had two sons, Madiba Thembekile “Thembi” and Makgatho, and two daughters both called Makaziwe, the first of whom died in infancy. He and his wife divorced in 1958.

Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its efforts, the ANC adopted a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action, in 1949. In 1952 he was chosen as the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign with Maulvi Cachalia as his deputy. This campaign of civil disobedience against six unjust laws was a joint programme between the ANC and the South African Indian Congress. He and 19 others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act for their part in the campaign and sentenced to nine months of hard labour, suspended for two years.

A two-year diploma in law on top of his BA allowed Mandela to practise law, and in August 1952 he and Oliver Tambo established South Africa’s first black law firm, Mandela & Tambo.

At the end of 1952 he was banned for the first time. As a restricted person he was only permitted to watch in secret as the Freedom Charter was adopted in Kliptown on 26 June 1955

Mandela was arrested in a countrywide police swoop on 5 December 1955, which led to the 1956 Treason Trial. Men and women of all races found themselves in the dock in the marathon trial that only ended when the last 28 accused, including Mandela, were acquitted on 29 March 1961.

On 21 March 1960 police killed 69 unarmed people in a protest in Sharpeville against the pass laws. This led to the country’s first state of emergency and the banning of the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) on 8 April. Mandela and his colleagues in the Treason Trial were among thousands detained during the state of emergency.

During the trial Mandela married a social worker, Winnie Madikizela, on 14 June 1958. They had two daughters, Zenani and Zindziswa. The couple divorced in 1996.

Days before the end of the Treason Trial, Mandela travelled to Pietermaritzburg to speak at the All-in Africa Conference, which resolved that he should write to Prime Minister Verwoerd requesting a national convention on a non-racial constitution, and to warn that should he not agree there would be a national strike against South Africa becoming a republic. After he and his colleagues were acquitted in the Treason Trial, Mandela went underground and began planning a national strike for 29, 30 and 31 March.

In the face of massive mobilisation of state security the strike was called off early. In June 1961 he was asked to lead the armed struggle and helped to establish Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation), which launched on 16 December 1961 with a series of explosions.

On 11 January 1962, using the adopted name David Motsamayi, Mandela secretly left South Africa. He travelled around Africa and visited England to gain support for the armed struggle. He received military training in Morocco and Ethiopia and returned to South Africa in July 1962. He was arrested in a police roadblock outside Howick on 5 August while returning from KwaZulu-Natal, where he had briefed ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli about his trip.

He was charged with leaving the country without a permit and inciting workers to strike. He was convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, which he began serving at the Pretoria Local Prison. On 27 May 1963 he was transferred to Robben Island and returned to Pretoria on 12 June. Within a month police raided Liliesleaf, a secret hide-out in Rivonia used by ANC and Communist Party activists, and several of his comrades were arrested.

On 9 October 1963 Mandela joined 10 others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Rivonia Trial. While facing the death penalty his words to the court at the end of his famous “Speech from the Dock” on 20 April 1964 became immortalised. On 11 June 1964 Mandela and seven other accused, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni, were convicted and the next day were sentenced to life imprisonment. Goldberg was sent to Pretoria Prison because he was white, while the others went to Robben Island

Mandela’s mother died in 1968 and his eldest son, Thembi, in 1969. He was not allowed to attend their funerals.

On 31 March 1982 Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town with Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni. Kathrada joined them in October. When he returned to the prison in November 1985 after prostate surgery, Mandela was held alone. Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee visited him in hospital. Later Mandela initiated talks about an ultimate meeting between the apartheid government and the ANC

On 12 August 1988 he was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. After more than three months in two hospitals he was transferred on 7 December 1988 to a house at Victor Verster Prison near Paarl where he spent his last 14 months of imprisonment. He was released from its gates on Sunday 11 February 1990, nine days after the unbanning of the ANC and the PAC and nearly four months after the release of his remaining Rivonia comrades. Throughout his imprisonment he had rejected at least three conditional offers of release.

Mandela immersed himself in official talks to end white minority rule and in 1991 was elected ANC President to replace his ailing friend, Oliver Tambo. In 1993 he and President FW de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize and on 27 April 1994 he voted for the first time in his life.

On 10 May 1994 he was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected President. On his 80th birthday in 1998 he married Graça Machel, his third wife. True to his promise, Mandela stepped down in 1999 after one term as President. He continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation. In April 2007 his grandson, Mandla Mandela, was installed as head of the Mvezo Traditional Council at a ceremony at the Mvezo Great Place.

Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life is an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; and to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation.

He died at his home in Johannesburg on 5 December 2013

Rantlai Petrus Molemela

Petros Rantlai Molemela was born on 16 April 1933, at a farm

called Bethel. At the tender age of 10, he joined the labour market as a farm worker without any education background. Following his father’s passing in 1948, he was appointed by PAO as a road construction worker using picks and shovels while his peers were at school. In pursuit of a better opportunity, in 1949 he was appointed by Louis Construction in Bloemfontein where he became part of the workforce that laid the foundation of the famous four Cooling Towers next to founding place of the ANC, Waaihoek. In 1952 he was appointed by Du Plessis Construction which constructed the High Court.

The move to Bloemfontein was also the start of Molemela Construction, which ntate Molemela started by building toilets in the township of Bochabela. This pioneer credits some of his achievements to people like the late Mme Winkie Direko, Principal Mochochoko of Number One School and a teacher by the name of Rabaji for earnestly begging him to attend night school. He started schooling in 1949, where he discovered his love for mathematics.

Dr. Molemela has never played soccer in his life. Rather, he was a cyclist who joined the Royal Rovers Cycling in his earlier years. He was introduced to Bloemfontein Celtic by his teacher, Rabaji. He formally took over Celtic in 1974, sponsoring the club from his pocket.

President Johannes Brand

Johannes Brand was born in Cape Town, and was educated at the South African College in that city. Continuing his studies at Leiden in the Netherlands, he took the degree of D.C.L. in 1845. He continued his law studies in Britain and was called to the English bar at the Inner Temple in 1849.

After his return to South Africa Brand settled in Cape Town, where he practised as an advocate in the Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope until 1863. In 1858 Brand was appointed professor of law in the South African College. As a young Member of the Cape Parliament, he became a keen supporter of John Molteno‘s “Responsible Government” movement, which advocated greater independence from Britain. However, finding its principles too moderate, he decided to emigrate to the Orange Free State, in solidarity with its strong republican ideals.

He was elected president of the Orange Free State in 1863, and subsequently re-elected for five year terms in 1869, 1874, 1879 and 1884. In 1864 he resisted the pressure of the Basuto on the Free State boundary, and after vainly endeavouring to induce Moshesh, the Basuto chief, to keep his people within bounds, he took up arms against them in 1865. This first war ended in the Treaty of Thaba Bosigo, signed on 3 April 1866; and a second war, which ended in the Treaty of Aliwal North, concluded on 12 February 1869. In 1871 he opposed the British annexation of the town of Kimberley without success

In 1871 Brand was solicited by a large party to become president of the South African Republic (Transvaal), and thus unite the two Boer republics of South Africa; but as the project was hostile to Great Britain he declined to do so, and maintained his constant policy of neutrality towards England, where his merits were recognised in 1882 when he was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George. Johannes Brand was deeply religious and irreproachable in both public and private life. He was extremely popular with the burghers of the Orange Free State. Brand’s expression “alles zal recht komen als elkeen zijn plicht doet” (all will be well if everyone does his duty) has entered the Afrikaans language as a well-known and often used saying. After his death a statue funded by public subscription was erected in Bloemfontein. The main road in the Bloemfontein city centre was named “President Brand” in his honour.





Franklin Nature Reserve The Franklin Nature Reserve (size 250 hectare) It’s currently the only Game reserve in the whole world located in the middle of a city, is home to many birds and offers a glimpse of several indigenous species of game, including herds of springbok, blesbok, eland and zebra and a wondrous place with an expansive view of the city and surrounding countryside. A naval brigade was quartered on top of the “koppie” (hillock) known as Naval Hill, during the Anglo-Boer War. After the departure of the Naval Brigade, the Wiltshire Regiment was quartered on the hill. The soldiers of this regiment fashioned a white horse out of whitewashed stones on the slope of the “koppie”, inspired by a similar pre-historic white horse cut into a hillside in their home county of Wiltshire in England.
Emoya Private Game Reserve

This 270 hectare Game and Nature Reserve is located in a pristine natural setting on the western border of Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State. This region is also known as “Big Sky Country”. Tel: +27 51 436 8471/  +27 51 436 0065

Email: info@emoya.co.za

Bagamoya Wildlife Estate

It’s a lion sanctuary farm, ideally situated about 25km from the Bloemfontein International Airport and 35km from the center of the City of Bloemfontein. The word “Bagamoya” means Shelter of the Lions. A beautiful getaway place, where you get the chance to move around in the African bush, and view the African wildlife in a way that will leave you captivated. A great outdoor activity on a Saturday is watching the Lions being fed at 11:00Owners: Botha and Sharine Barnard

Tel: +2783 385 0979/ +2782 497 7550

e-mail: info@bagamoyawildlifeestate.co.za




Cheetah Experience

Situated on the outskirts of Bloemfontein, it’s a world renowned cheetah breeding facility which was featured on Animal Planet, Pasella and Carte Blanche. Come eye to eye with real cheetah, lion, caracal, Canadian wolves and tiger. Touch and interact with lion, tiger and cheetah cubs and other bigger animals you go into the pens with them and the guides are full of interesting knowledge. Here you will get to spot up to 32 species of game with the assistance of an experienced Game Ranger. Location: Kmb Rd, Tempe, 1 Maluti Ave

Hours: Tues – Sun: 11am, 12pm. 2pm,3pm

Tel: +2772  905 3457

Entrance:        R100 adults

R50 children


e-mail: info@cheetahexperience.com

Bloemfontein Zoo

Sanctuary is provided in the Bloemfontein Zoo in pleasant surroundings for the “Big Five” as well as several antelope species, tigers, panthers, hippos and apes. A large variety of birds is an added attraction. This zoo has the largest collection of apes in South Africa. The most unusual inhabitant is the liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger. Location: King’s Way

Address: P O Box 3704, BFN, 9300

Hours: Summer: Daily: 08:00 – 18:00

Winter:  Daily: 08:00 – 17:00

Tel: +2751-4058498/84

Entrance: Adults: R35.00

Children: R15.00

e-mail: Lawrence.letshokgohla@mangaung.co.za




Free State Agricultural Museum

The Free State Agricultural Museum at Glen Agricultural College houses fascinating displays of antique farming implements, depicting the history of farming in the Free State.

Location: Glen

Address: Gielie Joubert Street

Hours: Mo-Fri: 07:30-16:00

Sat & Sun Closed

Tel: +2751-8611182/ 8611012

Wagon Museum

The Wagon Museum in St George Street, housed in the First Raadsaal building, is a tribute to the various modest means of transport used during bygone days. It houses a collection of historical wagons and carriages, such as stage coaches and Cape carts.

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

Oliewenhuis Art Museum

This stately neo-Cape Dutch house was built to accomodate visiting Governor-General and Head of State. It became a gallery in 1985. Surrounded by 12 hectares of natural vegetation on Grant’s Hill, Oliewenhuis Art Museum offers access to four marked walking trails through unspoilt natural surroundings.The permanent Collection housed at Oliewenhuis is an outstanding collection of South African art, which includes a unique outdoor Sculpture Park and a working African Carousel, for which original sculptures were commissioned. Location: Harry Smith Street

Address: P O Box 266, BFN, 9300

Hours: Mon – Fri:        08:00 – 17:00

Saturdays:       10:00 – 17:00

Sundays:         13:00 – 17:00

Tel: +2751-4479609

Entrance: Free – Enjoy the tea garden!!

e-mail: oliewen@nasmus.co.za

web: www.nasmus.co.za

Special Service Battalion Museum:

The Unit Museum, at the Tempe Military Base, commemorates the efforts of the “One Special Service Battalion”. This special battalion was created to encourage and employ the many despondent young men who were unemployed as a result of the raging Depression of the 1930s. Articles in this military museum date back to the year 1933.

Location: Tempe Military Base

Hours: Mon – Fri

08:00 – 16:00

Tel: +2751-402 1400/ +2751-402 9111


Freshford House Museum

The Freshford House Museum, in Kellner Street, gives the visitor an intimate glimpse into the old-world charm of the 1890s, an era of gracious living, romance and elegance. Built in 1897, by the British architect, John Edwin Harrison, for his new bride, the house was restored and refurbished to mint condition by the National Museum. A typical Edwardian garden was also recreated and planted with old English roses. Location: 31 Kellner Street

Address: P O Box 266, Bloemfontein,

Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00-13:00

Sat & Sun: 14:00-17:00

Tel: +2751-4479609

Entrance: Adults: R10,00

Child: R5.00

e-mail: mimi@nasmus.co.za

Hertzog House Museum The Hertzog House Museum is situated in Goddard Street, in the homestead of former Boer General and later Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, JBM Hertzog. He lived in the house from 1895 to 1928. His Monument towers over Hertzog Square. 19 Goddard Street
Institute for Contemporary History The Institute, on the campus of the University of the Free State, exhibits important paintings, busts and objects relating to political leaders and state presidents. On the campus of the University of the Free State
Anglo-Boer War Museum

The War Museum is dedicated to the South African men who fought against the British in the Anglo-Boer War and other struggles in South Africa. This Museum is a standard source of reference and material for students of the Anglo-Boer War. Its exhibits include photographs, paintings, documents, books, uniforms, weapons and sculptures from that time.

Location: Monument Road

Address: P O Box 704, BFN, 9300

Hours: Mon – Fri:  08:30 – 16:30

Saturday:   10:00 – 17:00

Sunday:      14:00 – 17:00

Tel: +2751-4473447

Entrance: A: R10,00; C:  R5,00

e-mail: museum@anglo-boer.co.za

Web: www.anglo-boer.co.za


Fire Brigade Museum

The largest fire brigade museum in South Africa displays 15 vintage fire engines, firefighting and ambulance equipment, old photographs and uniforms.

Location: Ehrlich Park Fire Station

Hours: By appointment

Tel: +2751-4058730

Web:    www.mangaungfire.co.za

e-mail: braam.vanzyl@mangaung.co.za


Jukskei Museum The privately owned Jukskei Museum, the only one of its kind in the world, presents the visitor with an overview of the origin and development of this truly South African sport. Visits to the museum can only be arranged by prior appointment with the owner.
National Museum

The National Museum in Bloemfontein is a natural history, cultural history and art museum. It houses a large variety of archaeological and palaeontological exhibits, of which the Florisbad skull is the most famous and known all over the world. Another interesting exhibit at the museum is the reconstructed street scene that takes the visitor back to the turn of the 19th/20th centuries.


The 50 horsepower, seven cylinder, air-cooled rotary engine of the Gnome type that was donated to the museum by one of South Africa’s early aviators, the engineer John Weston, in 1929, is the oldest aero-engine of its kind in the country.

The museum also includes a large number of artefacts that depict the culture and lifestyle of the Sotho people. The Rock Art Department is another very important feature of the museum.

Location: c/o Aliwal & Charles Streets

Address: P O Box 266, Bloemfontein,

Hours: Mon-Fri:  08:00-17:00

Sat:        10:00-17:00

Sun:       12:00-17:30

Tel: +2751-4479609

Entrance: Adults: R5,00

Children: R3,00

Groups: Special prices

Web: www.nasmus.co.za

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


National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre

This museum is housed in the Cape Dutch style Old Government Building, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the architect who also designed the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The museum focuses on the birth and development of Afrikaans. It houses more than a million items connected with the Afrikaans literary heritage. Location: c/o Pres.Brand & Elizabeth

Address: Priv. Bag x20543, BFN, 9300

Hours: Mon – Fri:  08:00 – 16:00

Tel: +2751-47114013

Entrance: Free e-mail: lcvnaln@sacr.gov.za

National Sesotho Literary Museum

Discuss with Ntate Mahanke @ Afrikaans Museum.

Location:c/o Pres Brand & Maitland Str

Address: Private Bag x20543, Bfn

Hours: Mon – Fri:  08:00 – 16:00

Tel: +2751-4054242/ 4301

Entrance: Free

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

National Women’s Memorial

The National Women’s Memorial, sculpted by Anton Van Wouw in the form of a 36, 5 m high sandstone obelisk, honors the nearly 27 000 women and children who lost their lives in concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War. The statue of two somber women holding a dying child adorns the base of the obelisk that also holds the ashes of Emily Hobhouse, the renowned Englishwoman, who did much to ease the suffering of the Boer women and children in the concentration camps. Beloved Boer leader, General CR de Wet, President and Mrs MT Steyn and the Reverend JD Kestell are buried at the foot of the monument.

Location: Monument Road

Address: P O Box 704, BFN, 9300

Hours: Mon – Fri:  08:30 – 16:30

Saturday:   10:00 – 17:00

Sunday:      14:00 – 17:00

Tel: +2751-4473447

Entrance: A: R10,00; C:  R5,00

e-mail: museum@anglo-boer.co.za

Web: www.anglo-boer.co.za


SA Armour Museum

The school has a fine display of weapons and tanks and an early military hospital. It displays a wide range of armoured military vehicles and artillery. It consists of an indoor and outdoor area and a reference library.

Location: Tempe Military Base

Hours: Mon – Fri:

08:00 – 16:00

except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays

Tel: +2751-402 1700/

+2751 402 1777/ 2093

Cell: +2783 366 0367

Tempe Military Base, Bloemfontein

Weekdays: 09:00 – 16:00

Queen’s Fort Military Museum

The Queen’s Fort Military Museum, in Church Street, depicts all the military conflicts that raged in the Free State and features exhibits dating from 1820 to the present. The fort was originally erected in 1848 by Boer forces to help withstand attacks by local Basotho tribes.

Location: 116 Church Street

Address: Priv. BagX20599, BFN, 9300

Hours: Mon – Fri:  07:00 – 15:30

Entrance: Free

Tel: +2751-4475478

Vintage Vehicle Collection The Vintage Vehicle Collection consists of a collection of vintage and classical cars, motorcycles and other motor memorabilia of the past 100 years. Visits can only be arranged by prior appointment with the owner.





  • Sechaba
  • Hip Town
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  • Las Vegas Lounge
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  • Dikgareteneng
  • Maphikela House