Travel Day 1 Arrival
Trip Start Aug 10, 2010
45Trip End Sep 09, 2010
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Where I stayed
Was reminded of how much I love the Free State and of the beautiful country I live in.
What a lovely couple Connie & Sid are. Sid mentioned that they had been married 35 years and that she was the best thing that ever happened to him. That God had blessed him tremendously by introducing them. 35 years, mmm, they might just make it I think!
Very nice Guest House. Not flashy or overly decorated, but just right. Homely I think is the word. I felt comfortable immediately, and it is a cliché but they really did greet me as if I were family
Finished admin in town and dinner with friends tonight. Having a cup of coffee at Mugg & Bean Mimosa Mall. Used to do that all the time while I lived in Bloemfontein.
Saw a "No Vuvuzela" sign in the door. Has restored my confidence in the future of this great country!
Bloemfontein (pronounced /ˈblʊmfɒnteɪn/, Dutch for "spring of Bloem (bloom)", "flower spring" or "fountain of flowers") is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa. It is also the judicial capital, making it one of the three national capitals of South Africa (together with the administrative capital Pretoria and the legislative capital Cape Town). Bloemfontein is popularly and poetically known as "the city of roses", owing to the abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there. The city's Sesotho name is Mangaung, meaning "place of cheetahs" and it has been included in the Mangaung Local Municipality since 2000.
Bloemfontein is situated on dry grassland at 29°06′S 26°13′E / 29.1°S 26.217°E / -29.1; 26.217, at an altitude of 1,395 metres above sea levelMangaung Local Municipality has a population of 645,455. Bloemfontein is served by Bloemfontein Airport.
Though historically a predominantly Afrikaner settlement, Bloemfontein was officially founded in 1846 as a fort by British army major Henry Douglas Warden as a British outpost in the Transoranje region, at that stage occupied by various groups of peoples including Cape Colony Trek Boers, Griqua and Basotho.
Although modern day Bloemfontein has a reputation for its flowers in an otherwise arid region, the origin of the city's name is unclear. Popular legends include an ox named "Bloem" owned by one of the pioneer farmers that was taken by a lion near a fountain on his property, while another story names Jan Blom (1775–1858), a Korana KhoiKhoi leader who inhabited the area. Bloemfontein literally means fountain of flowers or flower spring in Dutch. (See Discussion page for more details).
With colonial policy shifts, the region changed into the Orange River Sovereignty (1848–1854) and eventually the Orange Free State Republic (1854–1902)Orange River Colony and since that time as the provincial capital of the Free State. In 1910 it became the Judicial capital of the Union of South Africa.
Founding and early days
Warden originally chose the site largely because of its close proximity to the main route to Winburg, the spacious open country, and the absence of horse sickness. Bloemfontein was the original farm of Johannes Nicolaas Brits born 21 February 1790 owner and first inhabitant of Bloemfontein. Johann as he was known sold the farm to Maj Warden.
As the capital of the Orange Free State Republic the growth and maturing of the Republic resulted in the growth of the town. Numerous public buildings that remain in use today were constructed. This was largely facilitated by the excellent governance of the Republic (which acquired the term model republic) and the compensation from the British for the loss of the diamond rich Griqualand area.
A railway line was built in 1890 connecting Bloemfontein to Cape Town.
The writer J was born in the city on 3 January 1892, though his family left South Africa following the death of his father, Arthur Tolkien, while Tolkien was still a child (1896). He recorded that his earliest memories were of "a hot country."
Second Anglo-Boer War/South African War
In 1899, the city was the site of the Bloemfontein Conference, which failed to prevent the outbreak of the Second Boer War. The conference was a final attempt to avert a war between Britain and the South African Republic. With its failure the stage was set for war, which broke out on 11 October 1899.
The rail line from Cape Town provided a centrally located railway station, and proved critical to the British in occupying the city later.
On 13 March 1900, following the Battle of Paardeberg, British forces captured the city and built a concentration camp nearby to house Boer women and children. The National Women's Memorial, on the outskirts of the city, pays homage to the 26,370 women and children as well as 1,421 old men (including 14,154 black people, though some sources feel that the records are unsatisfactory, and that this number could be as high as 20,000) who died in these camps in various parts of the country
Until 1994, the city was the sole judicial capital of South Africa. It remains the seat for the Supreme Court Of Appeal (formerly the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court) and is therefore generally regarded as the judicial capital. It is also an administrative centre with many private hospitals and educational institutions.