Outside of the glistening granite outcrop better known as Paarl Rock, the historic town of Paarl also boasts another unusual shape clamouring for attention on its skyline – the tall concrete spires of the Afrikaans Taalmonument, aka the Afrikaans Language Monument.

Paarl is considered to be one of the places where the foundations of the Afrikaans language were laid by the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners, and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of that particular movement as well as commemorate the semicentenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch, a monument was commissioned and then officially opened on 10 October 1975.

Designed by Jan van Wijk, the monument itself is steeped in symbolism, going to great lengths to acknowledge 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.

Its interesting though compact and detail-less concrete curves, cones and tapers doesn’t take particularly long to move through, though of course you could always book a guided tour to get the most out of the site (and should probably also visit the nearby Afrikaans language museum that is paired with the monument for the full picture), but the Taalmonument does bolster the experience with a lovely surrounding exotic garden, exceptional views over the town, a little (sometimes operational) restaurant, and lush green lawns that are pitch perfect for family picnics under this otherworldly looking structure – which coincidentally also appears in more than just a couple of television series over the years. Honestly, the monument is impossible to miss seeing when you are driving in the Paarl region of the Cape Winelands and is genuinely worth a visit.

On this particular outing, having already petted the alpacas, marched about at Meulwater Botanical Garden and now traipsed around the monument, the girls and I opted to cap off a good (but HOT) day out with a spot of late lunch at the chill JANKAN farm stall experience. Naturally, there were a lot less complaints about that leg of the day than the others!

Related Link: Afrikaans Taalmonument | Afrikaans Language Monument | Paarl