Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Afrikaanse Taal Monument
Known simply as the Taal monument or Afrikaans language monument, the most famous Afrikaans icon, die Afrikaanse Taalmonument, sits on Paarl rock, erected in 1975 to commemorate the semi centenary of Afrikaans as an official language, separate from Dutch, overlooking the farmlands of Stellenbosch and Paarl.
Where? Gabbema Doordrift Street, Paarl, 7646, Cape Winelands
When? Open daily.
How? Call +27 (0)21 863-4809
Designed by architect Jan van Wijk, the monument, shaped in a number of tall obelisk style columns, takes its inspiration from the surrounding environment of granite rock and the words of NP van Wyk Louw, who wrote "Afrikaans stands with one leg in Africa and with the other in the west" and CJ Langenhoven who said "Afrikaans is a rapidly ascending curve".
The views from up on Paarl Rock are worth a visit alone. Table Mountain stands in the distance, whilst the Stellenbosch Mountains lie to the south and the Hottentots Holland Mountains to the east.
The monument is not without some controversy. The British magazine, Wallpaper, ran a story that described Afrikaans as the ugliest language in the world in September 2005. As a direct response, billionaire Johann Rupert withdrew advertising for brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill.
Afrikaans is one of the youngest languages in the world. Its roots spread over three continents - Africa, Asia and Europe - and its mother tongue speakers range across different races, creeds and cultures - it is the first language of approximately 60% of South Africa’s Whites and over 80% of the Coloured population.
Afrikaans originated from the 17th century Dutch language, and became known as ‘Cape Dutch’, a pejorative term that was remedied when the language was recognised as a distinct language in 1925. (Afrikaans Language).