Bethlehem, Free State

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Bethlehem
Bethlehem Town Hall
Bethlehem Town Hall
Bethlehem is located in South Africa
Bethlehem
Bethlehem
 Bethlehem shown within South Africa
Coordinates: 28°14′S 28°18′E / 28.233°S 28.300°E / -28.233; 28.300Coordinates: 28°14′S 28°18′E / 28.233°S 28.300°E / -28.233; 28.300
Country South Africa
Province Free State
District Thabo Mofutsanyane
Municipality Dihlabeng
Established 1859[1]
Area[2]
 • Total 37.1 km2 (14.3 sq mi)
Elevation 1,687 m (5,535 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 76,667
 • Density 2,100/km2 (5,400/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 85.2%
 • Coloured 2.1%
 • Indian/Asian 0.6%
 • White 12.0%
 • Other 0.2%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Sotho 72.2%
 • Afrikaans 14.5%
 • Zulu 7.0%
 • English 2.4%
 • Other 3.9%
Postal code (street) 9700
PO box 9700
Area code 058

Bethlehem is a town in the eastern Free State province of South Africa that is situated on the Liebenbergs river (also called Liebenbergs Vlei) along a fertile valley just south of the Rooiberg Mountains on the N5 road.

It is a wheat growing area and named after the biblical Bethlehem (from "Beit Lechem", Hebrew for "house of bread").[3]

The town lies at an altitude of 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) and this contributes to its cool climate with frosty winters and mild summers. The average annual temperature is around 24 °C (75 °F)

Bethlehem is situated approximately 240 kilometres (150 mi) north-east of Bloemfontein, 140 kilometres (87 mi) east of Kroonstad and 90 kilometres (56 mi) west of Harrismith. The town is strategically situated in the heart of the picturesque north-eastern Free State and originally developed as a service centre.[4] Bethlehem is the seat of the Dihlabeng Local Municipality (this municipality is situated within the boundaries of the Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality in the Eastern Free State).

The township associated with Bethlehem is called Bohlokong, named after the hloko/bohloko grass Diheteropogon filifolius.[5]

History[edit]

Bethlehem was founded in 1864 on the farm Pretorius Kloof.[6]

Society and culture[edit]

Museums, provincial heritage sites and memorials[edit]

A number of heritage sites are located in Bethlehem:

  • 14 President Burgers Street[7]
  • A B Baartman Wagon House[8]
  • Loch Athlone Dam Wall[9]
  • Main Building of the Bethlehem Technical College[10]
  • Nederduitse Gereformeerde Mother Church[11]
  • Old Magistrates Court[12]
  • Old Nederduitse Gereformeerde Mission Church parsonage[13]
  • Old Nederduitse Gereformeerde Mission Church[14]
  • St Andrews Presbyterian Church[15]
  • St Augustine Anglican Church[16]
  • Strapps Shop[17]
  • The Seminary[18]
  • Town Hall[19]
  • Wooden Spoon Restaurant[20]

Sport[edit]

Premier Soccer League club Free State Stars is based in Bethlehem and plays its home games at Goble Park.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)". pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sum of the Main Places Bohlokong, Thorisong, Vuka, Old Location and Bethlehem from Census 2011.
  3. ^ Raper, RE. Dictionary of Southern African Place Names. Human Science Research Council. 
  4. ^ http://www.dihlabeng.gov.za
  5. ^ Rodney Moffet, Grasses of the Eastern Free State: Their descriptions and uses, UNIQWA, Phuthaditjhaba, 1997
  6. ^ Theal, George McCall (1900). History of South Africa: The Republics and Native Territories from 1854 to 1872. S. Sonnenschein & co. p. 80. 
  7. ^ "14 President Burgers Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  8. ^ "A B Baartman Wagon House Muller and Landdros Streets Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  9. ^ "Loch Athlone Dam Wall Pretoriuskloof Nature Reserve Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  10. ^ "Main Building Technical College Bethlehem Wessels Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  11. ^ "Nederduitse Gereformeerde Mother Church Church Square Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  12. ^ "Old Magistrates Court Louw Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  13. ^ "Old Nederduitse Gereformeerde Mission Church parsonage President Boshoff Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  14. ^ "Old Nederduitse Gereformeerde Mission Church Muller Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  15. ^ "St Andrews Presbyterian Church 144 Cambridge Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  16. ^ "St Augustine Anglican Church 34 Louw Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  17. ^ "Strapps Shop 18 Church Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  18. ^ "The Seminary Wessels Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  19. ^ "Town Hall 20-22 Muller Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 
  20. ^ "Wooden Spoon Braairestaurant 12 Church Street Bethlehem". South African Heritage Resources Agency. 

External links[edit]