Bethulie is a small sheep and cattle farming town in the Southern Free State province. The name meaning chosen by God was given by directors of a mission station in 1829 which the town formed around. The mission building is the oldest settler built building still standing in the Free State. The town was also home to one of the largest concentration camps run by the British during the Boer War.
Bethulie is located on the Lake Gariep (! Xhariep) Tourism Route only 55km from Gariep Dam, the largest dam in South Africa. The town has a historical feeling and reminds you of day’s gone buy. For many years the main role of Bethulie was to serve the needs of the farming community around Bethulie.
But today Bethulie attracts tourist with something unique to offer. It is a friendly and safe stopover for many tourists but also a destination on its own. Attractions like the history of the town and the scenic beauty of the area attracts artist to give them the opportunity to become creative.
Bushmen drawings are the silent witness of the first inhabitants in the Bethulie region whose various drawings are still in existence in the region.
A Mission station was established in 1828 by the London Missionary Society for the local people, the San Bushman. In 1832 the missionary Jean Pierre Pellissier, replaced the London missionaries. His house is one of the oldest pioneer buildings north of the Orange River. It now houses a historical museum.
Bethulie is also known for the longest road and railway bridge in Africa and in minutes you can surround yourselves with wonderful scenes of game grazing the grasslands in the nearby game reserves and the scenic splendour of Lake Gariep (!Xhariep).
The climate of Bethulie is classified as semi-desert. These parts experience large temperature fluctuations between day and night. Bethulie is located in the South African summer rainfall region.
In summer the Temperatures range from 19° to 37°. In winter the Temperatures range from -3° to 18°.
Burgher Monument and Graveyard – Apart from the Burgher Monument, the graveyard contains the graves of several British soldiers.
The DH Steyn Bridge is a beautiful sandstone bridge near the town, spanning the Orange River at Bethulie, connecting the Free State with the Eastern Cape. It is a combined road and rail bridge, and the longest in the country (1,2km)
The Dutch Reformed Church is a stately edifice, completed in 1887 – now a national monument.
The Family Graves of Pellisier Family (of whom five (5) children were buried there), are in the grounds of the Pellisier House Museum. The Rev Jean Pellisier (who died in Bethulie in 1867), was the first French missionary stationed in the town.
Grave of JJ Venter, the former acting president of the Free State Republic (1863) also the founder of the Dutch Reformed Church
The Pellissier House Museum situated at no 1 Voortrekker street and housed in the original mission station building depicts the history of the whole Bethulie area.
Tussen-Die-Riviere Nature Reserve – Tel: 051 763 1000/1/2
Klaversfontein Angora Rabbit Farm – Tel: 051 763 0002
|Country name||South Africa|