The popular South African White Horse Sculpture is situated in the Franklin Game Reserve, a unique 250 hectare wildlife reserve, in the heart of Bloemfontein. Visitors can do a day drive up to Naval Hill to take in the spectacular city views and to see the Sculpture.
The White Horse Sculpture is an iconic feature on the East side of Naval Hill. The exact origin and history, much like with the Uffington White Horse in Britain, is unknown and at best speculation. However, the accepted origin of the Sculpture was that it was created during the Anglo-Boer War as a direction marker for returning British Cavalry who could see it from far out at sea. The White Horse was built by the men of the Second Battalion of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Wiltshire Regiment. A Remount Camp was stationed here after the British captured Bloemfontein from the Boer on the 15th March 1900.
Other possible origins are that the Horse was created in the image of the horse, Thabure, meaning ‘Annihilator of the Enemies” which belonged to Chief Lerotholi of the Basotho Tribe. Various stories surround the White Horse Sculpture and two such myths are that the Horse can be heard galloping on A Saturday night and that the Horse takes one step forward each time a couple kisses on top of Naval hill.
The sculpture was created from rocks that were painted white and despite its’ unknown origin and mythical stories that surround it, it stands as a proud landmark for the ‘City of Roses”.
There is no admission fee to visit Naval Hill. For guided tours of Naval Hill ask your Host at your B&B, Guesthouse or Hotel.
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