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Philippolis is located in Free State (South African province)
Philippolis is located in South Africa
Philippolis is located in Africa
 Philippolis shown within Free State
Coordinates: 30°16′S 25°17′E / 30.267°S 25.283°E / -30.267; 25.283Coordinates: 30°16′S 25°17′E / 30.267°S 25.283°E / -30.267; 25.283
Country South Africa
Province Free State
District Xhariep
Municipality Kopanong
Established 1823[1]
 • Type Ward 4
 • Councillor Nomvulazana Judith Stuurman
 • Total 39.6 km2 (15.3 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 3,648
 • Density 92/km2 (240/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[2]
 • Black African 65.1%
 • Coloured 27.6%
 • Indian/Asian 0.5%
 • White 5.9%
 • Other 0.9%
First languages (2011)[2]
 • Afrikaans 41.2%
 • Xhosa 29.3%
 • Sotho 25.7%
 • English 1.3%
 • Other 2.3%
Postal code (street) 9970
PO box 9970
Area code 051

Philippolis is a small town in the Free State province of South Africa. The writer and intellectual Sir Laurens van der Post was born here.


The London Missionary Society (LMS) founded Philippolis in 1823 as a mission station for the local Khoi people. The town takes its name from the LMS representative John Phillip. The early establishment makes it the oldest settlement in the Free State.

Adam Kok II, a Griqua leader, settled here with his people in 1826 and became the protector of the mission station. (Kok's son Adam Kok III and his followers later migrated across the Drakensberg mountains to settle in Kokstad in Griqualand East.)

The old church was replaced by a Dutch Reformed Church, which was consecrated in 1871. The pulpit, carved out of olive wood, has become a tourist attraction. The first school opened in 1873.

As of 2014, the town has started to become a popular tourist-destination because of its historical value, architecture and rural lifestyle.


  1. ^ "Chronological order of town establishment in South Africa based on Floyd (1960:20-26)" (PDF). pp. xlv–lii. 
  2. ^ a b c d Sum of the Main Places Philippolis and Poding-Tse-Rolo from Census 2011.