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Trip Planner Africa  /  South Africa  /  Free State  /  Bethulie

Bethulie

3.8
Bethulie is a small sheep and cattle farming town in the Free State province of South Africa. 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.HistoryEvidence of life was found to be dated to 250 million years ago in the form of fossils.The first land dwellers to be active in the Bethulie region were the Bushmen, whose various drawings are still in existence in the area. In 1828 a mission station was established by the London Missionary Society for the local people, the San Bushman. It was originally known as Groot Moordenaarspoort (Murderer's Pass) after a vicious clash between the Sotho and Griqua tribes. In 1832 the missionary Jean Pierre Pellissier, whose home is one of the oldest pioneer buildings north of the Orange River, replaced the London missionaries. It now houses a historical museum displaying items of the past and information on the life and trial of Jean Pellissier and Chief Lephoi and his people. Until 1833 Bethulie was known as Caledon (after the nearby Caledon River). This name was in conflict with a Western Cape town bearing the same name. Then in 1833 a French Missionary Society, the "Paris Evangelical Missionary Society" took over control of the area and renamed the mission station Bethulua, meaning "Place of Worship”. In 1835 it was renamed Verheullpolis and in 1863 the town was established and renamed Heidelberg. In 1872 the town was again renamed to Bethulie. During the Anglo-Boer War (1899 to 1902) the third largest concentration camp erected by the British was also situated in Bethulie.
Bethulie is in Free State. Our South Africa online trip planner allows you to schedule your trip to Bethulie, learn about its attractions, and find out about where else to go during your holiday.
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Popular things to do in Bethulie

3.8
Duration: 30​min

Side trips from Bethulie

4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min