The Afrikaans Language Monument – South Africa
Once upon a time, centuries ago, the Afrikaans language spoken by ethnic groups in South Africa that had their roots from Netherlands was declared the official language of the southern African country, in an attempt to separate the language from the widely spoken Dutch at the time.
To commemorate this event, a special monument, Afrikaans Language Monument, was built in 1975 to mark the transition from Dutch to Afrikaans as South Africa’s official language. The monument located on the Pearl Hills in the Western Cape Province was designed by Dutch architect, Jan Van Wijk and is regarded as one of South Africa’s finest architectural constructions of the 20th century.
The monument is opened to the general public for visitation and touring as the facility is categorized as a national heritage site and tourist attraction. On a normal day at the monument, visitors are taken through various sections of the structure to learn about the evolvement of the Afrikaans language and how other languages had influenced it over the cause of the centuries.
The most popular section at the monument include the Magical Africa; where tourists are taken through a short lesson on how African languages influenced Afrikaans, the Clear West; another section which discusses the European root and heritage of the language and the main section Afrikaans; where the language itself is discussed and talked about.
Various Afrikaans literature works such as poems and songs written by popular Afrikaans writers are also displayed at the monument to show the rich heritage of the language in terms of literature.
The centre is also a popular event hosting grounds in Western Cape Province, hosting concerts and other major events throughout the year.