Tag Archives: afrikaans language monument

Concrete Curves of the Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl (2017-04-22) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 10 FEB 2018

It is impossible not to take notice of the strange, alien-like fingers jutting out from the side of a mountain as you drive towards Paarl, those concrete curves belonging of course to non other than the famous Afrikaans Taalmonument, or to us English-speaking folks, the Afrikaans Language Monument.

While I have mentioned the monument in these pages before, I hadn’t actually ever stopped to visit it as an adult, something that I finally got around to rectifying on a sunny Saturday morning back in April last year.

Seeing as it is a rather long drive from Gordon’s Bay to Paarl, the girls and I decided to first stop halfway in order to pick up on some snacks for the road – opting to drop in for a bit at the always super popular Stellenbosch Slow Market (held at the Oude Libertas amphitheatre).

As expected, it was bustling, but snacks on hand were aplenty.

Truthfully though, we didn’t hang around the busy market for all that long – I’m not overly fond of having to navigate two little girls through such a throng of people at the best of times!

Anyway, navigating our way to the Afrikaans Language Monument on the outskirts of Paarl didn’t prove to be a particularly tricky or perilous task, and after paying the small entrance fee, we drove into the grounds, found a shady parking space, and headed up the stairs towards the mouth of this very unusual structure.

Opened on 10 October 1975, Jan van Wijk’s monument commemorates the semi-centenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch, in the process also acknowledging 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.

Symbolism is built into everything that stands before you, and knowing a little bit about the structure before you actually view it does come in quite handy in this particular case.

The monument itself is visually interesting, but of course doesn’t take particularly long to stroll through (perplexing the girls to no end), which is where the grounds and build location then neatly comes into play.

Apart from the interesting Visitor’s Centre (there is of course the actual Language Museum further down in town), and its restaurant with a view, the Volksmond, to enjoy, The Afrikaans Language Monument also features lovely patches of lawn to enjoy a picnic on, fantastic 360 degree views across the town of Paarl and its stunning surrounds, and a one or two perfect for ambling walkways that snake through its interesting garden.

The girls of course enjoyed clambering over everything and anything that blocked their path, but by far their favourite bit of our visit was of course the ice cream that they made me get them in order to beat the Paarl heat at the end of our walkabout.

Truthfully, I wasn’t really complaining. Ice cream was exactly what was needed for the day!

Also, plenty of photos were of course the order of the morning, much to the annoyance of my girls as per usual:

The Afrikaans Language Monument is an unexpectedly beautiful stop, well worth visiting even if you don’t speak the language at all.

(As for the rest of our afternoon out and about, that was spent visiting a goat tower, petting some alpacas, and eating scones and cream!)

Related Link: Afrikaans Language Monument | Paarl

Things to See in South Africa: Afrikaans Language Monument (Taalmonument) Travel Attractions 04 MAY 2015

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.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 1

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.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 2

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

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 3

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.

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 4

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 5

Afrikaans Language Monument in paarl, south africa - afrikaanse taalmonument 6

Related Link: Wikipedia | Taalmuseum