Madiba gazing over Bloem

Naval Hill in Bloemfontein has always been a beacon in the Free State capitol and known for the magnificent views of the surrounding city.  In 2012 an eight meter tall bronze sculpture, made by the same sculptor as the one standing in Mandela Square in Sandton, was revealed.  Last year during the #MeetSouthAfrica bloggers trip before Indaba, the one group spent a night in Bloem and visited Naval Hill at sunset.  The pictures they posted were stunning.  I also got…

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Bloemfontein statues

This is my last Bloemfontein post from this trip, I promise.  I was actually very disappointed that I didn't have time to explore the city some more.  I have never been to Bloemfontein before and it has so many places, most of historical value, to see.  The one thing I did notice is that there are many statues around Bloemfontein.  Bloemfontein used to be the capital of the Boer republic of the Orange Free State and many leaders involved in the…

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Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa

During the Apartheid years Bloemfontein was called the judicial capital of South Africa. That was because the Appeals Court of South Africa is situated there.  It used to be thew highest court before the establishment of the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg.  In 1996 it was renamed the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa by the Constitution and it has 22 judges presiding there.The court was formed with the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910.  The Court initially…

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Hertzog Square

Across the road from the Bloemfontein City Hall in Hertzog Square stands a fine monument dedicated to General JBM Hertzog. General Hertzog was a military officer in the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) and later became Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa.Hertzog Square consists of fountains, a reflection pool and the statue created by sculptor Danie de Jager and unveiled in 1968.  There another sculpture on the square of which I haven't been able to find any information.  The male figure…

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Bloemfontein City Hall

I hope you're not tired of Bloemfontein yet, but there are still a couple of things to show you.  Bloemfontein's City Hall is a stately sandstone building designed by Sir Gordon Leithe.  Even though its looks like a very old building from the outside, it was only built in 1935 and is decorated with Italian marble and  Burmese wood. I found this very interesting skull design appearing at the bottom of both the towers and thought it quite an interesting feature.My visit to…

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Twin Towered Church

The 'Tweetoringkerk' (Twin Towered Church) in Bloemfontein is one of the city's most notable buildings. It's cornerstone was laid by President Brand in 1878. It was built in the German neo-Gothic style and inuargirated on 7 May 1880.  Up to then the occasion was the biggest Bloemfontein has ever seen with about 6 000 people attending, most of them from the surrounding farms.The church has changed its face from the old Afrikaans only Dutch Reformed Church to what is now known as the…

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National Afrikaans Literature Museum

The National Afrikaans Literature Museum in Bloemfontein is only about a block from the Fourth Raadsaal I featured yesterday.  This building originally accommodated the government structures of the Republic of the Orange Free State in the 1800s and is reminiscent of the old Cape-Dutch architecture in the area. The National Afrikaans Literature Museum, with the largest collection of Afrikaans literature and manuscripts in the world, as well as artifacts belonging to well-known Afrikaans writers, is housed in this building.Standing in…

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The Fourth Raadsaal

Bloemfontein in the Free State has a collection of beautiful historic buildings and statues all situated in the centre of town.  The one I liked the most on my recent visit was the Fourth Raadsaal. The foundation stone was laid by then Orange Free State President F. W. Reitz in 1890 and the building was completed in 1893. It is a Renaissance-style building in red brick with a prominent dome and a portico of Ionic columns. The last session of the Parliament…

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Bloemfontein from Naval Hill

The city of Bloemfontein (Bloem meaning bloom or flower and fontein meaning fountain) is the capital of the Free State province and is situated roughly in the centre of South Africa.  The city's nickname is the City of Roses (although there wasn't really any roses in bloom around at the time of my visit. Perhaps I was in the wrong part of town for it) and its also the judicial capital of South Africa as this is where the country's Supreme Court…

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