Free State DestinationsMarquad, Thabo Mofutsanyana
With a total area of less than 10 square kilometres, Marquard is a small town that is known for the excellent condition in which it is kept and for its value in terms of agri-tourism. It is situated in the South African province of the Free State, where vast open plains of golden grass and green hills rise to meet the clear blue of the African skies.
Marquard was established in 1905 and, as such, has a quaint, but significant history. This adds an old-world charm to its architecture and vibe. It is best known for the local cherry and asparagus farms, on which visitors from all over the world can immerse themselves in total peace and quiet. The local community is known for their friendly smiles and warm welcome as they take pride in their little town.
There are a number of mountain biking routes in the area. In fact, these are a major draw card to the region for the cycling enthusiasts from around South Africa and the world. The Koranna Two Mountain Cycle race is held in Marquard every spring, and is the town’s largest and most popular event. Whether leisure or competitive, mountain biking in and around Marquard is a must.
Significantly, Marquard is one of the few towns still in existence to be able to boast a working mill. The building in which this is housed is simply beautiful and definitely worth a visit, as is the monument to commemorate the Great Trek. The architecture of some of the old buildings, including the NG Kerk, is a wonderful part of the area’s rich heritage.
The capital city of Bloemfontein is about 160 kilometres from Marquard, and is an established urban area with all of the necessary facilities and amenities.