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Bloemfontein (lit. fountain of flowers) is the judicial capital of South Africa, where it serves as the capital of the Free State province. The city's Sesotho name is Mangaung, which means "the place where cheetahs dwell''. Although the area had been inhabited earlier, it was first pronounced an urban settlement in 1850, four years before the official founding of the Republic of the Orange Free State. A railway line was built in 1890 to connect Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

The city is situated at 29 degrees S latitude and 26 degrees E longitude and at 1 395 metres above sea level. The surrounding countryside consists of dry grasslands. The city has approximately 500 000 residents.

J. R. R. Tolkien was born in the city on January 3 1892.

On March 13, 1900 during the Boer War, British forces captured the city.

Bloemfontein is served by Bloemfontein Airport.

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