KROONSTAD, a town of Orange River Colony, 127 m. by rail N.E. of Bloemfontein and 130 m. S.W. of Johannesburg. Pop. (1904), 7191, of whom 3708 were whites. Kroonstad lies 4489 ft. above the sea and is built on the banks of the Valsch River, a perennial tributary of the Vaal. It is a busy town, being the centre of a rich agricultural district and of the diamond and coal-mining industry of the north-western parts of the colony. It is also a favourite residential place and resort of visitors from Johannesburg. It enjoys a healthy climate, affords opportunities for boating rare in South Africa, and boasts a golf-links. The principal building is the Dutch Reformed church in the centre of the market square.
On the capture of Bloemfontein by the British during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899–1902 Kroonstad was chosen by the Orange Free State Boers as the capital of the state, a dignity it held from the 13th of March to the 11th of May 1900. On the following day the town was occupied by Lord Roberts. The linking of the town in 1906 with the Natal system made the route via Kroonstad the shortest railway connexion between Cape Town and Durban. Another line goes N.W. from Kroonstad to Klerksdorp, passing (17 miles) the Lace diamond mine and (45 miles) the coal mines at Vierfontein.