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Use the Web Code found in your Pearson textbook to access supplementary online resources. This article needs additional citations for verification. Naval Hill Planetarium and Boyden Observatory, an astronomical research observatory erected by Harvard University. Bloemfontein was popularly and poetically known as “the city of roses”, owing to the abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there. Warden originally chose the site largely because of its proximity to the main route to Winburg, the spacious open country, and the absence of horse sickness. Bloemfontein was the original farm of Johannes Nicolaas Brits born 21 February 1790, owner and first inhabitant of Bloemfontein. The Orange Free State was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century.
As the capital of the Orange Free State Republic the growth and maturing of the Republic resulted in the growth of Bloemfontein. Numerous public buildings that remain in use today were constructed. British for the loss of the diamond rich Griqualand area. A railway line was built in 1890 connecting Bloemfontein to Cape Town. Tolkien was born in the city on 3 January 1892, though his family left South Africa following the death of his father, Arthur Tolkien, while Tolkien was only three. He recorded that his earliest memories were of “a hot country.
In 1899 the city was the site of the Bloemfontein Conference, which failed to prevent the outbreak of the Second Boer War. The rail line from Cape Town provided a centrally located railway station, and proved critical to the British in occupying the city later. On 13 March 1900, following the Battle of Paardeberg, British forces captured the city and built a concentration camp nearby to house Boer women and children. The hill in town was named Naval Hill after the naval guns brought in by the British in order to fortify the position against attack. Its primary aim was to fight for the rights of black South Africans.
When the National Party won the 1948 South African national government elections they began implementing the policy known as apartheid. The policy was built on white supremacy and racial segregation was implemented. When the South African apartheid government passed the Group Areas Act of 1950, the Bloemfontein municipality put into effect changes in the racial set-up of the city. In 1968, Mangaung faced serious housing shortages when as much as 3000 to 6000 housing units were needed. To counter this problem, a 55 km east ward expansion called Botshabelo was added in 1979. The Bloemfontein municipality channelled of all black urbanisation to Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo. Botshabelo was developed as source of cheap labour for the city of Bloemfontein.
A subsidised bus service was established, and Botshabelo was declared decentralisation point. This means that Botshabelo was to become an industrial development point in order to reduce the distance between place of employment and place of residence. In 1994, after the disestablishment of the apartheid government, Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, and Thaba Nchu became part of Motheo District Municipality. Until 1994 the city was the sole judicial capital of South Africa. It is also an administrative center with many private hospitals and educational institutions. Free State Provincial Government building Bloemfontein forms part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, which was upgraded from a Local Municipality in 2011. Voters get two votes: one for a representative to become a ward councillor and the other for a political party.
The Free State Stadium and the surrounding sports complex is the main sports venue in the city and province. The venue was the hosting stadium of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa matches played in Bloemfontein. There are several other sports venues in the city, however, including facilities belonging to the university, schools and sports clubs. Premier Soccer League team Bloemfontein Celtic. The Knights cricket team representing the Free State and Northern Cape in various series is located at Mangaung Oval, part of the Free State Stadium complex. Bloemfontein features as a regular venue for touring international and local cricket teams. One of the most active soaring communities in South Africa and the world is using the New Tempe Airport north of Bloemfontein.