|The capital of the Free State is also South Africa’s judicial capital. It is called the City of Roses and one way to see why this is an appropriate title, will be to visit Kings Park and the Zoo: there are over 4000 rose plants in the park. The zoo has a large number of primates and the bizarre, yet fascinating liger – the result of a cross between a tiger and a lion!
Every month, you can go to Die Volksblad, a market of arts and crafts. While you’re in the area, check out the Loch Logan Waterfront as it has interesting shops, restaurants and a flea market.
History fans will love the city’s oldest building, the First Raadsaal, which dates back to 1849. It has been a church, a gathering place, a school and finally a museum during its long life. The beautiful Fourth Raadsaal built in 1893 in the Renaissance style is made of red brick and is remarkable as it has a prominent dome and an Iconic portico.
Another building to see is the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of South Africa. Neo-Classical in style and built in 1929, the court rooms are admired for stinkwood panelling and exquisite carvings. The City Hall was designed by Sir Gordon Leithe around 1935 and was made attractive by Italian marble and intarsia work in Burmese wood.
Naval Hill, towards the north-east, offers a good view of the koppies and rantjies as well as being home to the Franklin Nature Reserve, where you can view giraffe and steenbok. At the Botanical Gardens, you will see what highveld vegetation looks like and marvel at million-year old fossilized trees. Spread over 70 hectares, you can go for a moonlight walk and enjoy a sunset concert during the summer. Visit the Herbarium as there are 5000 species there!
Try and catch a performance at the Sand du Plessis Theatre. If you are interested in rich culture then there are a whole lot of museums where you can spend your time – the National Museum, the War Museum, Old Presidency, Queens Fort Military Museum, the Rugby Museum and the National Afrikaans Literature Museum, to name a few.
The Twin-Spired Church is the only such South African Dutch Reformed church in South Africa. Modelled in 1880 after the German Bamberg Cathedral, it was used to swear in Presidents. It is also called the President's Church. The Anglican Cathedral is worth visiting as well.
Bloemfontein is part of the BBT Heritage Route and learning about the rich culture of the region is an informative experience. Don’t miss visiting this city. Its warm friendliness and interesting sights will make it a visit to remember! You can get more information at the Tourist Information Office located in Park Road, Bloemfontein.