City of Roses.
Bloemfontein is known as "the city of roses", due to it's abundance of these flowers and thus the annual rose festival.
The city's Sesotho name is Mangaung, meaning "place of cheetahs" and it has been included in the Mangaung Local Municipality since 2000
Despite being situated in an area of dry grassland, Bloemfontein more than lives up to its name. Thousands of rose bushes line the city; more than 4000 rose trees have been planted in the rose gardens in Kings Park. This passion for roses can continues as is to be found displaying a rose as an emblem of pride and is often displayed as such in local business within the city.
As a city, the mood is surprisingly relaxed and stress free as few residents find themselves stuck in the "rat race" as many other residents of other cities. The city centre displays many historical buildings and the beautiful President Brand Street; its tree-lined pavements home to several museum buildings, right in the centre of the Central Business District.
The city, sixth largest in the country, the Judicial Capital of South Africa and located on the N1, Bloemfontein serves as something of an oasis, as it lies both in the middle of the Free State and country. With Johannesburg and Cape Town at great distances from each other, Bloemfontein provides the perfect stop off to break the major journey between the two titan cities.
Naval Hill, a small nature reserve set within the northern parts of the city, is well worth a drive through. Set on a hill as it is, it not only provides a welcome change in geography from the city, but also gives a bird’s eye view over the city. And the Orchid House, which lies at the western foot of Naval Hill in Hamilton Park, lays claim to the world’s largest collection of orchids. There is also a fragrance garden for the blind close to Orchid House.