A wellspring in the aridity of the lowlands, Bloemfontein began as the archetypal frontier town: a land of leopards, black wildebeest and blesbok, a formal rest-stop of wagons and a sustenance of the delicate serenity of an economic centre marooned in a rugged landscape.
Bloemfontein became the capital of the Free State in 1854 as well as the judicial capital of South Africa but the first elected president was accused of treason and forced to resign. It was under the 4th president that the fledgling republic started to develop into a model state. Its growth was boosted by the discovery of diamonds at Kimberley and gold at the Witwatersrand, when it became a major transport centre situated on the major route from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
Approximately a dozen roads radiate in all directions and Bloemfontein boasts the largest railway workshop in the country as well as some of the best schools and places of higher learning making it the 6th biggest city in the country.