Free State City Guide
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The two main cities in the province are Bloemfontein, the capital, and Welkom. Bloemfontein is the economic and cultural centre of the Free State.

It is also called the City of Roses, a modern city and is seat of the South African Supreme Court. Welkom has been the centre of the gold fields since inception.

The Free State offers you interesting small towns and villages, rich with a cultural mix of African and European and a history of many struggles and wars.

Cities and towns of the Free State:

Bethlehem | Bethlehem Accommodation
The fertile valley of the Maluti Mountains inspired by wheat farmers to name the new town Bethlehem.

Formed around a mission station in 1829, this town offers many historical sites depicting the violent period prior to its formation, as well as nature reserves and resorts and various water-activities on the Dams in the area.

Bloemfontein | Bloemfontein Accommodation
Bloemfontein is the city of Roses, and the capital of the Free State Province. Enjoy warm hospitality, friendly but diverse peoples, many attractions and cultural sites, an unique Orchid House with various rare Orchids, and much more.

Clarens | Clarens Accommodation
Clarens in the mountainous Eastern Free State Highlands is situated 20 km from Golden Gate National Park and about 3 hours travelling from Johannesburg.

Founded as a safe haven by Jacobus de Wet, field-cornet and father of Anglo-Boer War General Christiaan de Wet, on the farm Kareefontein. Eventually recognised and given municipal status in 1890. Award winning Golfclub.

A sheep and cattle ranching farm in the Free State, believed to the named in Afrikaans after Edinburgh.

Named after Rev Faure, moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church, and Sir Harry Smith, governor of the Cape Colony. Various monuments and places of interest, as well as outdoor adventures.

Ficksburg | Ficksburg Accommodation
Ficksburg is is a small town situated at the foot of the Imperani Mountain. It is located in an important agricultural region of the Free State also known as the Cherry Town of South Africa.

Gariep Dam | Gariep Dam Accommodation
A village built in 1960 to house the dam's labour force, now developed into a holiday resort serving the largest inland expanse of water in South Africa.

Harrismith | Harrismith Accommodation
Surrounded by buttes and mesas, the town was founded in 1849 and named after Governer Harry Smith. An important crossroad in the land trade routes, it is still rich in the beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers.

Situated in the Free State, with the famous Magesfontein Battlefields and Museum only 20 km north-west of town. A town with a rich historical and cultural heritage.

Founded in a diamond rush, the town still exudes the whiff of the pioneer diggertown. Various attractions, as well as an open mine museum and original mine where the 971-carat Excelsior diamond was found in 1893.

Transport riders found this spring a convenient stop for coffee drinking, until a diamond was found and a town grew rapidly. The name was retained and today is a sheep farming region.

Kroonstad | Kroonstad Accommodation
The third larges town in the Free State, lies two hours drive from Gauteng.

Established in 1894 in the Free State, Luckhoff is situated close to the Van Der Kloof Dam (Orange River) and the Rolfontein Nature Reserve.

Odendaalsrus | Odendaalsrus Accommodation
A tranquil town in the Free State Goldfields which boasts all the necessary facilities and services, yet lies in close proximity to other cities.

Started as a Church on the farm Diepfontein in 1891 and named after the owner of the farm. Mixed farming pays the rent in todays Petrusburg.

Philippolis | Philippolis Accommodation
Founded in 1823 after the Toverberg mission station was closed in 1818 and Dr John Philip, superintendent of South Africa, wanted a mission station in the area, making it the oldest town in the Free State.

The farm Vlakfontein was bought by the Dutch Reformed Church for a parish and named 'Saviour's Fort', a town well known for strict moral laws. Now a sheep farming community.

The town was established 1950's in order to provide housing and facilities for SASOL.

Smithfield | Smithfield Accommodation
Founded in 1848 for Sir Harry Smith, now an important cattle ranching area. Various Places of interest, museums, monuments and memorials of bygone days, including Bersheeba Farm, an old French mission station with 1m-thick walls.

Springfontein | Springfontein Accommodation
Mixed farming and the outdoor life are central to the lives of the Springfontein residents. A crucial link between Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Trompsburg | Trompsburg Accommodation
Named after the owners of the farm Middelwater, on which the town was founded in 1891. The hub of Free State Merino sheep farming.

Laid out at the peak of the 1950 s gold rush on the banks of the Sand River, named after US surveyors who carved their name into a stone at merriespruit in 1890. One of the Free State's most popular holiday destinations.

Welkom | Welkom Accommodation
Welkom is South Africa's youngest city established around the gold mining industry.

Wepener, on the Lesotho border, is home to the Caledon Nature Reserve. It has many game species and a flourishing birdlife. The town offers various historical and cultural heritage sites.

Van Stadensrus
Between Wepener and Zastron in the Free State, Van Stadensrus is a relatively young town which was proclaimed only in 1925.

One of the Free State towns with a rich historical and cultural heritage, as well as various historical buildings and monuments. The Willem Pretorius Game Reserve is north down the N1 towards Ventersburg.

Zastron | Zastron Accommodation
Named after the wife of the owner of the farm Verliesfontein on which the town was founded, whose surname, Zastron, was a corruption of the German name Zastrow.
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