Like the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, the concrete Afrikaanse Taalmonument, set high on a hill overlooking Paarl, holds a special place in the hearts of Afrikaners, who struggled for years to gain acceptance for their language alongside English. The rising curve of the main pillar is supposed to represent the growth and potential of Afrikaans. When it was erected in 1973, the monument was as much a gesture of political victory as a paean to the Afrikaans language.
Ironically, it may become the language's memorial. Under the new South Africa, Afrikaans has become just one of 11 official languages and is gradually losing its dominance, although attempts are being made to ensure that the rich culture isn't lost. The view from the top of the hill is incredible, taking in Table Mountain, False Bay, Paarl Valley, and the various mountain ranges of the Winelands. You can buy a picnic basket at the monument's restaurant and find a pretty spot to enjoy the wonderful view; a basket costs around R210 for two people and is crammed with cold meats, salad, cheese, breads, fresh fruit, and something sweet. A short, paved walking trail leads around the hillside past impressive fynbos specimens, particularly proteas. After the N1 bridge, a sign on your right points the way to the monument.
Afrikaanse Taalmonument Rd., Paarl, 7646, South Africa