Bloemfontein in detail

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JRR Tolkien: Lord of Bloemfontein

JRR Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, was born in Bloemfontein in 1892. Although he moved to England when he was five, his recollection of the Bloemfontein district as ‘hot, dry and barren’ is considered a sign by Bloem’s residents that his years here inspired him to create the legendary kingdom of Mordor. Or perhaps, as some graffiti in a Cape Town pub once said, ‘Tolkien was just another Bloemfontein boy on acid’…

Regardless, if you’re interested in learning more about the local Tolkien scene, head over to the Hobbit Boutique Hotel, formerly the home of the Tolkien literary society (before it disbanded). Staff there can direct you to the house where Tolkien was born, the cathedral in which he was baptised and the grave where his father is buried. If you’re in the area, and fascinated with all things Tolkien, it's definitely worth strolling over to the Hobbit for a cosy fireside chat.