Bloemfontein [ blumfontəɪ̯n, blomfontəɪ̯n ] is the sixth largest city in the Republic of South Africa and capital of the Free State Province. In addition, it is the seat of the Supreme Court of Appeal (English Supreme Court of Appeal, afrikaans Appelhof ). It has 256 185 inhabitants (as of 2011; census ) and is the seat of the metropolitan municipality of Mangaung.

Name of the city

Bloemfontein has due to its floral wealth and the annual Rose Festival also known as the " City of Roses". The name literally means in Dutch " fountain of flowers ". In Sesotho and Pedi name of the city, however, Mangaung [ Manau ː n], which literally means "place of cheetahs " means. Mangaung is also the name of the Metropolitan Municipality, is one of Bloemfontein.


Before the arrival of European settlers in the wake of the Great Trek in 1836 San, Griqua and Sotho lived in the area of Bloemfontein.

In 1840, Johannes Nicolaas Brits of the Voortrekkers built on an overgrown by flowers source a farm, which he called " Bloemfontein ".

From 1846 onwards English immigrants arrived under Major Henry Douglas Warden. 1850 Bloemfontein was officially founded as a church, four years before the official founding of the Republic of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein whose seat of government was.

On March 13, 1900, the city fell during the Second Boer War, in the hands of British troops. Ten years later, Bloemfontein became part of the Union of South Africa and received city status in 1945.


The city council of the metropolitan community is dominated in 2013 by the African National Congress ( ANC).


The Greater Bloemfontein has agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries. In the city, especially major companies in the food, furniture and glass industries have settled. Even the car manufacturers Barnard Motors can be found here.

Transport links

Since 1890, the city is connected by a railway with Cape Town. Another railway line leads north to Johannesburg. On the way to Bethlehem only goods trains.

With Bloemfontein Airport, the city also has an airport. She is also very well connected to the national road network, with direct motorway connections to Cape Town and Johannesburg. The national roads N1, N6 and N8 to Maseru Coming lead the city.


Bloemfontein is the seat of which was founded in 1904 University of the Free State with around 20,000 students.


The Naval Hill is a hill in the middle of the city, living on the giraffes, ostriches, antelopes and many other herbivores. From there one has a nice view over the city. Additional points of interest on Naval Hill are the Natural History Museum and the Botanical Gardens.

There are numerous parks, about the Kings Park with more than 4,000 varieties of roses. Among the older buildings of different architectural styles, the City Hall. It is considered a landmark of the city and was built in 1935 made ​​of marble and teak. Older is preserved in its original condition First Raadsaal, which used the People's Council held its meetings.

In Freshford House Museum circumstances of a wealthy family around the year 1900 are presented. Contemporary works by South African artists can be seen in the Oliewenhuis Art Gallery.

Additional area attractions include the National Museum, the President Brand Street, the National Museum and the Zoological Garden Afrikaans.


Winter lasts from May to August in Bloemfontein, the summer includes the months of October to February. The winter months are dry with average rainfall of less than 30 mm. Here the maximum daily temperatures reach values ​​of 16 ° C to 20 ° C, the average nighttime minimum temperatures up to the freezing point, with night frost is not uncommon. In the summer months there are often cloudbursts, the mean monthly rainfall between 50 mm and 100 mm. Daytime temperatures can reach in the summer average values ​​of just over 30 ° C, the daily minimum temperatures average about 16 ° C.


Bloemfontein is home to the national rugby union team Free State Cheetahs and was the venue for six matches of the Football World Cup in 2010.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • JRR Tolkien (1892-1973), British author (The Lord of the Rings )
  • Bram Fischer (1908-1975), civil rights
  • Winkie Direko (1929-2012), politician and Premier of the Free State Province
  • Maretha Maartens (* 1945), writer
  • Linda Mvusi ( born 1955 ), actress and designer
  • Frances Beatrice Mars Hoff ( b. 1957 ), politician and Premier of the Free State Province
  • Reinhard Zöllner (* 1961), German japanologist
  • Zola Budd (born 1966 ), athlete
  • Marcos Ondruska (born 1972 ), tennis player
  • Ryk Neethling ( born 1977 ), Olympic gold medalist in swimming
  • Shaun Morgan (born 1978 ), singer of the grunge band Seether
  • Ronel van Wyk (born 1978 ), cyclist
  • Juan Smith ( born 1981 ), rugby players

Pictures of Bloemfontein