Nelson Mandela Statue (Naval Hill) in Naval Hill, Bloemfontein, Free State
To date, including the ones in foreign lands, this statue of Nelson Mandela remains the largest one made in honour of this world icon and stands at 8 m in height. It was unveiled on 7 December 2012. The sculptor Kobus Hattingh was the creator of this bronze sculpture, as well as the one in Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg.
The statue was donated by a private individual, Mr Freddy Kenny and it was decided to place it at Naval Hill as there are plans in the making for this space to be enhanced as a tourist hotspot.
The 3 million Rand statue faces the Methodist Church in Waaihoek, which was the location where the ANC was established in 1912; the oldest liberation movement in Africa.
Naval Hill and Franklin Game Reserve
Naval Hill is rich with historic relevance and local folklore. During the Anglo-Boer War the British Wiltshire Regiment was stationed on Naval Hill.
There could not have been a better site to put this gigantic statue of Nelson Mandela; in a beautiful game reserve as a symbol of his freedom, and overlooking a town of historical significance.
Bloemfontein is called The City of Roses and it is in this beautiful part of the country in the Franklin Nature Reserve with its unusual flat topped hill called Naval Hill and its awe inspiring views. It is the only game reserve in the world that is right in the middle of a city and its indigenous plant life adds to the beauty and attraction of this space.
The 250 hectare reserve was established in 1930 and has a wide variety of wild life and a rich and varied bird population. The reserve does not have any predators and as there is no entrance fee, many joggers make full use of the reserve as well as local residents and many tourists.
The Naval Hill Planetarium Theatre
The Lamont Hussey Observatory at Naval Hill was opened in 1928 and was owned by the University of Michigan. It was revamped in 1974 and partially reconstructed as a theatre that is currently known as the Naval Hill Planetarium Theatre.
The White Horse
The White Horse is a large sculpture from the Anglo Boer War days and is positioned on the east side of Naval Hill. It was declared a national monument in 1982. It is made from stones and painted white.The Sotho speaking people believe that the horse was made in the likeness of King Moshoeshoe’s best stallion and that every time someone is kissed on the Hill, the White Horse moves one step forward. The site of the white horse stone is a Provincial Heritage Site.
The Edge Restaurant
The Edge Restaurant has reached completion and is the perfect spot for not only refreshments but a panoramic view over the city of Bloemfontein.
There are works in progress that include beautiful viewing decks, paved parking areas, gardens and lighting for night visitors, all of which will lay a solid foundation for Naval Hill to be one of the premium tourist sites in the city, and contribute positively towards its inner city rejuvenation.
No Charge as at May 2014.
Daily, 08h00 - 17h00
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