The Afrikaans Language Monument (better known locally as the Afrikaanse Taalmonument) is located on a hill overlooking Paarl, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Officially opened on 10 October 1975, it commemorates the semi-centenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch. Also, it was erected on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (the Society of Real Afrikaners) in Paarl, the organization that helped strengthen Afrikaners’ identity and pride in their language.
A visit to the Taal monument is a fascinating step back into the past. Built in 1975, and designed by architect Jan van Wijk, it acknowledges the influence of a variety of languages such as Dutch, Malay, Malay-Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, English, and the indigenous Khoi and African languages, on the development of Afrikaans.
The monument consists of various tapering structures of a convex and concave nature, symbolising influences of different languages and cultures on Afrikaans itself, as well as political developments in South Africa, as follows:
– Clear West: the European heritage of the language
– Magical Africa: the African influences on the language
– Bridge: between Europe and Africa
– Afrikaans: the language itself
– Republic: declared in 1961
– Malay language and culture
Guided tours are available on pre-bookings only. Volksmond Coffee Shop is an ideal venue for Sunday lunches and sundowners, as well as for family gatherings and year-end functions. They also sell picnic baskets to be enjoyed whilst revelling in the spectacular views of the Winelands.
The Monument with its exotic garden is an easy access point to a variety of hiking and biking trails on Paarl Mountain. Popular events include full moon picnics and stargazing evenings during the summer months.
Two amphitheaters are available for public and private events.