Top 10: Historical sites in the Free State
Historical Free State - downtown Philippolis.
© Chris Marais
The Vredefort Dome is a massive meteorite impact site, created when a giant meteorite hit the Earth around 200-million years ago.
Dinsoaur fossils of Clarens
The mountain village of Clarens in the eastern Free State is not only a quaint town in a beautiful setting - it is also a great location for those interested in fossils and palaeontology.
Bloemfontein's history and culture
The City of Roses - Bloemfontein - is the historical "heartland" capital of South Africa's Free State province. From Boer War monuments to historic art galleries, fascinating townships, indigenous cultural villages and even a museum dedicated to the game of rugby, Bloemfontein has it all.
Philippolis, founded in 1823, is the oldest town in the Free State. It has a rich history, having been home to Griqua leader Adam Kok and writer Sir Laurens van der Post, as well as the location of British welfare campaigner Emily Hobhouse's first weaving and spinning school.
Sandstone Estates, Ficksburg
Sandstone Estates in Ficksburg is a steam buff's dream, featuring a collection of locomotives that have been restored for the enjoyment of steam enthusiasts who come here from all over the world.
Free State goldfields
The Free State goldfields, with Welkom at their heart, is the throbbing mining centre of the province. Experience a goldfields tour and learn about the history of gold in South Africa.
The southern Free State town of Koffiefontein was once a rural stopover for transport riders. It later became a diamond boom town and a WWII prisoner-of-war detention centre. See artworks left behind by the Italian prisoners.
If you like hardy horses and quirky towns, open skies and friendly people, then you should visit the historical town of Fauresmith.
Bethulie holds bittersweet memories of the South African War, but is also a great base from which to explore the villages and sights around the Gariep Dam.
Precisely because of its location in the eastern Free State, Harrismith was a pivotal centre during the South African War (also known as the Anglo-Boer War).