- Free State
Vrede, meaning 'peace' lies in the North-Eastern Free State about 20km east of the N3, close to the Mpumalanga border. It is just 220 km from northern Johannesburg, and about 30km the other side of Carolina on the R102 to Warden and Harrismith on the Volksrust-Newcastle road.
The town of Vrede was established in 1863 by European landowners of this area and was given its name after a dispute between the the founding members about its name was settled amicably ("in peace").
It is a scenic little town with an imposing sandstone Dutch Reformed Church and is surrounded by a large farming district finding itself at the hub of a 10 000 hectare region of agricultural plenty, including the Free State's largest stock fairs of maize wheat, mutton, wool, beef, dairy, products and poultry.
The town is steeped in history and the frontage of the Dutch Reformed Church features a Burghers Memorial to fallen Boers and a garden to honour the British soldiers. The Great Trek Monument is a granite memorial erected in 1938, the centenary year of the Great Trek. There is also a First World War cannon in the town.
Vrede is surrounded by undulating, highveld hills and other than just a throughway or stopover, the surrounding area is a rewarding tourist destination offering a diversity of attractions, adventures, accommodation, arts, crafts and restaurants.
Activities in the area include hiking, mountain biking, caving, abseiling, rock climbing, horse riding, game viewing, hunting, browsing and shopping or just relaxing in the quaint pubs and restaurants in the area.
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