Bethlehem is a town that is a commercial centre in the East of the Free State province. Due to it being known as a wheat growing area and the town is appropriately named after the biblical Bethlehem from ‘Beit Lechem’, which is Hebrew for ‘House of Bread’.
The town is situated on the Liebenberg River area along a fertile valley just south of the Rooiberge Mountains. The town is the gateway to the Eastern Highlands of the province and some of South Africa’s (SA) most valued San rock art is found particularly in the town.
When visiting the town you will find. Baartman House, an impressive collection of antiquated farming implements, kitchen utensils, wood carvings and old leather. Bethlehem Museum, the history of the town is well documented by wagons, furniture, horse carriage, farming implements and an old steam locomotive.
Nazareth Mission Church, a noble church storing local costume, needlework, furniture and porcelain. Pretorius Bird Sanctuary where many local species can be seen here. Sandstone Buildings, a very common Free State feature as many buildings in town are superb examples of sandstone architecture.
Wolhuterskop Nature Reserve, a well-supported, pleasant reserve of wide-open spaces and abundant animal life and Lions Rock Lodge, situated 18km from Bethlehem. Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary offers visitors the unique opportunity to observe big cats in their natural surroundings. The Lodge also offers a variety of accommodation facilities along with an excellent restaurant and a cosy bar.
The climate can be frosty in winter and mild in summer, where during summer the mountains are green, in spring they are filled with blossoms and during winter there is every chance of snow.
DID YOU KNOW?
As far as Agricultural activities goes wheat is the second most widely grown crop in SA.