Bloemfontein (Afrikaans and Dutch “fountain of flowers” or “blooming fountain”) is the capital city of the province of Free State of South Africa, and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa’s three national capitals (the other two being Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Pretoria, the administrative capital) and is the seventh largest city in South Africa. Situated at an altitude of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) above sea level, the city is home to approximately 520,000 residents and forms part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality which has a population of 747,431.
Bloemfontein hosts the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, the Franklin Game Reserve, Naval Hill, the Maselspoort Resort and the Sand du Plessis Theatre. The city hosts numerous museums, including the National Women´s Monument, the Anglo-Boer War Museum, the National Museum, and the Oliewenhuis Art Museum
Bloemfontein also hosts sub-Saharan Africa’s first digital planetarium, the Naval Hill Planetarium and Boyden Observatory, an astronomical research observatory erected by Harvard University.
Bloemfontein is popularly and poetically known as “the city of roses”, for its abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there. The city’s Setswana name is Mangaung, meaning “place of cheetahs”.