|The Tolkien Trail|
Celebrated epic fantasy writer J.R.R Tolkien once wrote that when he
laid eyes on England at the age of three everything around him seemed
“novel and strange.”
Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in what is now known as the Free State Province, an arid region of South Africa that is noted for its rolling grasslands and dry, hot summers.
The stark landscape left an impression on Tolkien and when he moved to England at the tender age of three his perception of the world was through the lens of his earliest surroundings.
It was the juxtaposition of his birthplace with this
strange new world that opened his imagination to the magical
possibilities of the English countryside and allowed him to see through
the eyes of hobbits and wizards who travel the world.
Bloemfontein is proud to be the birthplace of this beloved author and the city has established the Tolkien Trail in his honor. For those inspired by the fantasy worlds that Tolkien created, The Tolkien trail is a way to connect with his beginnings and understand his unique view of the world.
The trail wanders through downtown Bloemfontein, beginning at the Victorian building on Maitland Street where Tolkien’s father managed a branch of the African Bank.
Along the trail you can visit the site of Tolkien’s first house and the cathedral where he was baptized, ending your walk in the cemetery on Church Street where Tolkien’s father was laid to rest. For fans of Tolkien this is an attraction trail that should not be missed.