Bloemfontein is the sixth largest city in South Africa, and the capital city of the Free State. Located near the centre of the country, with good, road, rail, and air links, this clean and mostly litter free city is referred to locally as the “City of Roses”.
Bloemfontein is more residential than a holiday centre, with most visitors stopping off on route to other places, but it has a peaceful atmosphere and its own brand of graceful charm. No visit would be complete without a stroll down the historical, tree lined President Brand street, which, with its magnificent sandstone faced government buildings, which includes, The South African Court of Appeal, The City Hall, and the Supreme Court of South Africa. President Brand street has been designated a national conservation area.
Places worth visiting include the Free State National Botanical Garden which is located in Rayton on the outskirts of the city, and is the only botanical garden in the Free State. Bloemfontein Zoo, which boasts the largest collection of primates in South Africa, and the Loch Logan Waterfront, a development on the eastern banks of Loch Logan, popular for its shopping, pubs, and restaurants.
The First Raadsaal was built in 1849 by Major Henry Warden, the cities founder. This comparatively unassuming building with its thatched roof and dung floors, was, in its time, a place of worship, a school, and home to most of Bloemfontein's public institutions.