oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Die Ou Goewermentsgebou in Bloemfontein: van regeringskantore tot letterkundige museum

Volume 5, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



The old Government Building at the top of Maitland Street in Bloemfontein was erected in different stages. The building served consecutively as offices for the government of the Republic of the Orange Free State, the government of the Orange River Colony and the Free State Provincial Administration. The ground floor of the front part was designed by R.C. Wocke and completed in 1877. In 1895 a second storey, designed by I.E. Vixseboxse, was added. In 1906 the building was further enlarged by an extension to the west built around a square courtyard according to a design of Sir Herbert Baker's. On 28 October 1908 a devastating fire destroyed virtually the whole building. Between 1909 and 1911 the building was rebuilt largely according to the plans of Sir Herbert Baker. The changes and improvements, especially to the fayade and the tower, were the work of the then government architect, F. Taylor. The building, which was declared a National Monument in 1972, now houses the Nasionale Afrikaanse Letterkundige Museum en Navorsingsentrum (NALN), i.e. the National Afrikaans literature museum and research centre.

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