SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is the capital city of the province of Free State of South Africa. Situated at an elevation of 1,395 m above sea level, the city is home to 520,000 residents and forms part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality which has a population of 747,431, it was one of the host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The city of Bloemfontein hosts the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, the Franklin Game Reserve, Naval Hill, the Maselspoort Resort and the Sand du Plessis Theatre; the city hosts numerous museums, including the National Women's Monument, the Anglo-Boer War Museum, the National Museum, the Oliewenhuis Art Museum. Bloemfontein host sub-Saharan Africa's first digital planetarium, the Naval Hill Planetarium and Boyden Observatory, an astronomical research observatory erected by Harvard University. Bloemfontein is popularly and poetically known as "the city of roses", for its abundance of these flowers and the annual rose festival held there; the city's Sesotho name is Mangaung, meaning "place of cheetahs".

Its! Orakobab name is ǀʼAuxa ǃXās or ǀKxʼauxa ǃXās, which refers to Jan Bloem II, known as! Xās-aob or Blumtseb, a gaokxʼaob of the ǀŨdiǁʼaes of the! Ora nation, whose kraal was the original settlement before the city was built; the origin of the city's name is disputed. It has been assumed to be from the Dutch words fontein, meaning fountain of flowers. Popular colonial legends include an ox named "Bloem" owned by Rudolphus Martinus Brits, one of the pioneer farmers, taken by a lion near a fountain on his property, while the more indigenous history names Jan Bloem II, a! Ora leader who settled there, his father, Jan Bloem, was a fugitive from the Cape Colony, where he was escaping arrest after murdering his first wife. Bloem was well known as an expert marksmen, married into the ǀHõaǁʼaes and ǀŨdiǁʼaes where he played a role in training! Ora artillery fighters during the first! Ora Wars on the ǂNū!arib in the second half of the 18th century CE. His son was born in 1775 into the Springbok Clan becoming the kapteijn or chief of this polity.

Though a! Orana settlement, a Boer settlement, Bloemfontein was founded in 1846 as a fort by British army major Henry Douglas Warden as a British outpost in the Transoranje region, at that stage occupied by various groups of peoples including! Orana, Cape Colony Trek Boers and Barolong. Warden chose the site because of its proximity to the main route to Winburg, the spacious open country, the absence of horse sickness. Bloemfontein was the original farm of Johannes Nicolaas Brits born 21 February 1790, owner and first inhabitant of Bloemfontein. Johann – as he was known – sold the farm to Major Warden. With colonial policy shifts, the region changed into the Orange River Sovereignty and the Orange Free State Republic. From 1902–10 it served as the capital of the Orange River Colony and since that time as the provincial capital of the Free State. In 1910 it became the Judicial capital of the Union of South Africa; the Orange Free State was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century.

Extending between the Orange and Vaal rivers, its borders were determined by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1848 when the region was proclaimed as the Orange River Sovereignty, with a seat of a British Resident in Bloemfontein. As the capital of the Orange Free State Republic the growth and maturing of the Republic resulted in the growth of Bloemfontein. Numerous public buildings that remain in use today were constructed; this was facilitated by the excellent governance of the Republic and the compensation from the British for the loss of the diamond rich Griqualand area. The old Orange Free State's presidential residence the Old Presidency is a museum and cultural space in the city. A railway line was built in 1890 connecting Bloemfontein to Cape Town; the writer J. R. R. Tolkien was born in the city on 3 January 1892, though his family left South Africa following the death of his father, Arthur Tolkien, while Tolkien was only three, he recorded that his earliest memories were of "a hot country".

In 1899 the city was the site of the Bloemfontein Conference, which failed to prevent the outbreak of the Second Boer War. The conference was a final attempt to avert a war between the South African Republic. With its failure the stage was set for war, which broke out on 11 October 1899; the rail line from Cape Town provided a centrally located railway station, proved critical to the British in occupying the city later. On 13 March 1900, following the Battle of Paardeberg, British forces captured the city and built a concentration camp nearby to house Boer women and children; the National Women's Monument, on the outskirts of the city, pays homage to the 26,370 women and children as well as 1,421 old men (also 14,154 black people, though some sources feel that the records are unsatisfactory, that this number could be as high as 20,00

Castle Balfour

Castle Balfour is a castle situated in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It sits at the edge of the parish graveyard just west of Main Street; the castle is a State Care Historic Monument sited in the townland of Castle Balfour Demesne, in the Fermanagh and Omagh district area, at grid ref: H3622 3369. Castle-skeagh was granted to Michael Balfour, Lord Balfour of Burleigh from Fife, Scotland, by King James I in the Plantation of Ulster, he sold his lands in Fermanagh to his younger brother James, Lord Balfour of Glenawley in 1615. In 1618/19 Captain Nicholas Pynnar reported; the village of Lisnaskea developed around it. The castle was altered in 1652 and damaged in 1689; the last person to possess and inhabit the Castle was James Haire who leased the castle from John Creighton, Earl Erne. James Haire and his family ceased to occupy the castle after it was destroyed by an arson-based fire in 1803, his mother, Phoebe Haire, was killed by the fire. It is believed. Major conservation and restoration was undertaken in the 1960s and further conservation work was completed in the late 1990s.

Evidence of an earlier ringfort indicates the area had been inhabited from early times. In Castle Balfour Demesne, slight surface evidence for a fosse between two banks was revealed after excavation to have been 2m deep. Attempts to find the outer fosse of a bivallate ringfort revealed ‘no distinct, steep edges’ contrasting with the steeply cut inner fosse. Radiocarbon dates of 359-428 AD were found from the ringfort at Castle Balfour. In 1618/19 Captain Nicholas Pynnar reported that Balfour had'laid the foundation of a bawne of lime and stone 70 ft square, of which the two sides are raised 15 ft high. There is a castle of the same length, of which the one half is built two stories high and is to be three stories and a half high’. Castle Balfour was a long, rectangular three storey building, on a north-south axis, the main block being 26m by 8m, it had a square wing to the east and west and a rectangular block on the northern end. It has the style of a Scottish castle and the building is thought to be the work of Lowland Scots masons.

The surviving castle is in a T plan with an entrance with gun-loops. The castle has vaulted rooms and a kitchen with fireplace and oven on the ground floor, main dwelling rooms on the first floor and corbelled turrets with gun slits. List of castles in Northern Ireland Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea

Fitler Square, Philadelphia

Fitler Square is a 0.5 acre public park in Philadelphia, bounded on the east by 23rd Street, on the west by 24th Street, on the north by Panama Street, on the south by Pine Street. It is in the southwestern part of Philadelphia's Center City on land owned by City of Philadelphia via the Department of Parks and Recreation. Fitler Square was named for late 19th century Philadelphia mayor Edwin Henry Fitler shortly after his death in 1896; the Square is cared for through a public private partnership between the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Fitler Square Improvement Association. The name "Fitler Square" is used to describe the neighborhood surrounding the square, bounded by 21st Street on the east, the Schuylkill River on the west, Locust Street on the north, Bainbridge Street on the south. To the east of this neighborhood is the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood; the portion of Center City surrounding Fitler Square and nearby Rittenhouse Square is sometimes referred to as "Rit-Fit" after the two parks.

Before the 1950s the neighborhood was a prime example of the urban blight that had overcome much of the city. The park itself was described as a "mudhole inhabited by drunks and empty bottles". In the mid-1950s, The Center City Residents' Association petitioned Mayor Clark to do something about the decline of the neighborhood. Working together, they freed up mortgage money for the construction of new homes and rehabilitation of the neighborhood. Threatening the neighborhood was the proposed Crosstown Expressway; the threat of its construction, which would demolish much of the neighborhood, was enough to reduce property values and add to the neighborhood's blight. The Residents' Association was successful in changing these plans and in the following years the neighborhood drastically improved due to efforts of the Center City Residents' Association and the Fitler Square Improvement Association. Today the neighborhood is residential, composed of single-family homes, within a short walk of the commercial areas of Center City.

On the television show Philly, Kim Delaney's character "Kathleen" was portrayed as living in a small apartment overlooking the park. Hojun Li, co-editor of the film The Sixth Sense, claims to have been inspired by children in Fitler Square. A sculpture of three turtles adorn the park made by well-known Philadelphia artist Eric Berg, as well as sculptures of a Grizzly Bear and a Ram; the center of the park is dominated by a Victorian-era fountain. Prior to 2010 this fountain, like many in the City, flowed fresh water from the main directly into the sewer system. In 2010 the Fitler Square Improvement Association engaged a large project funded by neighborhood donations and a $7,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to change the fountain into one that recirculates all of its water with a pumping system saving huge amounts of water each year; the Philadelphia School, a private institution, is located in the Fitler Square Neighborhood at 2501 Lombard St. The school, which opened in 1972, offers preschool through 8th grade classes.

The Free Library of Philadelphia operates the Philadelphia City Institute on the first floor and lower level of an apartment complex at 1905 Locust Street. Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, subjects of 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus Fitler Square Improvement Association Historic Photographs of Fitler Square, PhillyHistory.org