Bloemfontein. On 14th. November 1868, ‘The Illustrated London News’ published the above woodblock engraving of Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa.
The capital city of the province of Free State, South Africa, it was until the surrender of the Boers at the end of the Second Boer War in 1902, the capital of Orange Free State, an independent Boer republic.
Bloemfontein was founded as a British outpost by Major Henry Douglas Warden, the ‘Resident’ of Orange River Sovereignty, in 1846.
A short-lived British possession, the ‘Orange River Sovereignty’ was formally established in 1848, only to become the Orange Free State in 1854.
The name Orange Free State is derived from the name of the principal river, named by Dutch explorer Robert Jacob Gordon as Orange River, and from the title of the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange.
The capital of the Orange Free State Republic (1854–1902). From 1902–10, Bloemfontein served as the capital of the Orange River Colony and since 1910 as the provincial capital of the Free State.
With the passing of Ordinance 1 in 1860, Bloemfontein commenced residential segregation, better known as apartheid.
However, racial segregation would not become a countrywide legal phenomenon until the National Party won the South African national government elections in 1948, when they began to legally enforce apartheid.
It would end in the early 1990s with negotiations between Government and opposition and a General Election, based on universal suffrage, in 1994.
Until 1994 Bloemfontein was the judicial capital of South Africa. It remains the seat of the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Today Bloemfontein is one of South Africa’s three national capitals and is the seventh-largest city in South Africa with a population of over half-a-million people.