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PAARL (/ˈpɑːrl/ ; Afrikaans: or more commonly ; derived from Parel, meaning Pearl in Dutch ) is a city with 191,013 inhabitants in the Western Cape province of South Africa
South Africa
. It is the third oldest town and European settlement in the Republic of South Africa
South Africa
(after Cape Town
Cape Town
and Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch
) and the largest town in the Cape Winelands . Due to the growth of the Mbekweni township, it is now a de facto urban unit with Wellington . It is situated about 60 kilometres (37 mi) northeast of Cape Town
Cape Town
in the Western Cape Province and is renowned for its haunting scenic beauty and deep viticulture and fruit growing heritage.

Paarl
Paarl
is the seat of the Drakenstein Local Municipality ; although not part of the Cape Town
Cape Town
metropolitan area, it falls within its economic catchment. Paarl
Paarl
is unusual in South Africa
South Africa
in that the name of the place is pronounced differently in English and Afrikaans. An unusual feature of the name of the town is that Afrikaners customarily attach the definite article to it: people say in die Paarl
Paarl
or in die Pêrel ("in the Paarl"), rather than in Paarl.

Paarl
Paarl
gained international attention when, on 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
walked out of Victor Verster Correctional Centre (now known as Drakenstein Correctional Centre
Drakenstein Correctional Centre
) in Paarl
Paarl
ending 27 years of imprisonment and beginning the march to South Africa's post-apartheid era and multi-racial elections. Mandela spent three years in prison here living in a private house within the walls. Today, a bronze statue of Mandela stands outside the prison.

Paarl
Paarl
hosted a match from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 . The headquarters of Ceres Fruit Juices are located in the city, although its namesake, Ceres valley and source of much of the fruit, is around one hour's drive to the northeast.

The district is particularly well known for its Pearl Mountain or " Paarl
Paarl
Rock ". This huge granite rock is formed by three rounded outcrops that make up Paarl
Paarl
Mountain and has been compared in majesty to Uluru
Uluru
(formerly known as Ayers Rock) in Australia. (However, they are not geologically similar. Paarl
Paarl
Rock consists of intrusive igneous rock, while Uluru
Uluru
is a sedimentary remnant).

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Demography * 3 Tourist attractions * 4 Districts * 5 Schools * 6 Notable residents * 7 Coats of arms * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

HISTORY

The area that is now known as Paarl
Paarl
was first inhabited by the Khoikhoi and San people. The Peninsular Khoikhoi people and the Cochoqua people lived in this area divided by the Berg River Valley. The Cochaqua were cattle herding people and among the richest of the Khoi tribes. They had between 16,000-18,000 members and originally called Paarl
Paarl
Mountain, Tortoise Mountain.

The Dutch East India Company under the leadership of Jan van Riebeeck established meat trading relationships with the Khoikhoi people on the Table Bay coastline. In 1657, in search of new trading relationships inland, Abraham Gabemma saw a giant granite rock glistening in the sun after a rainstorm and named it "de Diamondt en de Peerlberg" (Diamond and Pearl Mountain) from which Paarl
Paarl
is derived. Gabemma (often also spelled Gabbema) was the Fiscal (public treasurer) for the settlement on the shores of Table Bay. The "diamonds" disappeared from the name and it became known simply as Pearl Rock or Pearl Mountain.

In 1687, Governor Simon van der Stel gave title to the first colonial farms in the area to "free burghers". The following year, the French Huguenots arrived in the Western Cape and began to settle on farms in the area. The fertile soil and the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
-like climate of this region provided perfect conditions for farming. The settlers planted orchards , vegetable gardens and above all, vineyards . Thus began Paarl's long and continuing history as a major wine and fruit producing area of South Africa.

The arrival of the European settlers brought on conflict with the Khoikhoi people, as land and water resources began to be contested and the Khoi traditions of communal land use came in conflict with the settler's concept of private property. The Khoi peoples were defeated in local war and were further decimated by European diseases. The population scattered inland toward the Orange River or became laborers on settler farms.

DEMOGRAPHY

In the 2001 census Paarl's population was recorded as being 82,713 people in 20,138 households, in a land area of 32.2 square kilometres (12.4 sq mi). 67.8% of the inhabitants described themselves as " Coloured
Coloured
", 21.2% as "White ", 10.5% as " Black African ", and 0.5% as "Indian or Asian ". 85.5% spoke Afrikaans
Afrikaans
as their first language , 8.5% spoke Xhosa , and 5.2% spoke English .

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Paarl
Paarl
Rock Paarl
Paarl
Rock in foreground with the town behind it and Du Toit's Peak towering behind Afrikaanse Taalmonument in Paarl
Paarl

Like many towns in the Cape Winelands, Paarl
Paarl
is home to a prosperous community, with many well maintained and attractive Cape Dutch houses , beautiful gardens and streets lined with old oak trees.

Paarl
Paarl
boasts a unique cultural attraction: it was here that the foundations of the Afrikaans
Afrikaans
language were laid by the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners . The " Afrikaanse Taalmonument " (monument to the Afrikaans
Afrikaans
language) on the slopes of Paarl
Paarl
Mountain, the Language Museum (Taalmuseum) and the Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Language Route through Dal Josaphat are memorials to this achievement.

The former headquarters of the wine industry in South Africa
South Africa
is also situated here.: This was the famous "Co-operative Wine
Wine
Growers' Association" (better known by its Afrikaans
Afrikaans
initials KWV). KWV became a South African institution that has acquired an international reputation based on its unique achievements and its imprint of quality on the local wine industry. Over the past decade, however, KWV has been privatized and no longer has an administrative role in the South African wine industry. (KWV's main wine production and maturation facilities are on its Paarl
Paarl
premises, while its brandy production takes place in Worcester and grape juice concentrate production in Upington in the Northern Cape .)

The town and its surroundings attract many visitors with an array of activities and interests. There are magnificent Cape Dutch buildings (17-19th Century), scenic drives, hiking trails, excellent restaurants and the Paarl
Paarl
wine route, with its many wine tasting opportunities.

The old Spice Route Paarl
Paarl
, which was initiated in 1997 by Charles Back , the owner of this estate as well as of Fairview , provides an opportunity for visitors to appreciate and taste local delicacies from the Western Cape , like biltong, draft beer or red and white wines from the surrounding wine yards in Malmesbury and Darling. Back's vision was "to offer local and international tourists a selection of hand-picked artisanal producers who put as much thought, skill and passion into their products as Spice Route wine maker, Charl du Plessis, puts into his wines". Besides that a range of art galeries and the traditional way of organic dark chocolate production can be explored. The heritage of the Spice Route farm goes back to the historical marieners who used to trade Eastern spices to Europe
Europe
along the "Spice Route" for spice trade in the 15th century. Paarl from the summit of Paarl
Paarl
Mountain, looking across to the Klein-Drakenstein and Du Toitskloof Mountains

The Paarl
Paarl
Rock itself is these days a popular Mecca for rock climbers. However, in the pioneering period of rock climbing in South Africa, the mountain was ignored or shunned because its steep faces were so smooth and unfissured that climbers could find no place to attach "runners" or anchor points for belays . The first climbing routes up the rock were pioneered in 1969 by J.W.Marchant and G. Athiros, the former from the University of Cape Town
Cape Town
Mountain and Ski Club. Soon afterwards Marchant and John Knight established a few routes on which the rope was run out for 100 m (330 ft) or more with no protection whatsoever. This was in the days before bolting was possible and these achievements are still held in high regard today. Nowadays protection is afforded by bolts in the granite and there are on Paarl
Paarl
Rock a few dozen spectacular, beautiful and very hard routes that attract the best climbers of the current generation. (All of these climbs remain dangerous for the inexperienced.) A guide book for these routes was written in 2006 by Stewart Courtrai (a wealthy suburb in the southern part of town); Central Paarl
Paarl
(generally known as Upper- Paarl
Paarl
and also containing a lot of wealthy suburbs, popular area for local Jews); Lemoenkloof (a wealthy suburb between the central and northern parts of town); Northern Paarl
Paarl
(middle class suburb, including the area of Groenvlei); Denneburg (in the south east of the town); Vrykyk (in the south) and areas in the eastern part of the town such as New Orleans, New York, Amstelhof, Lantana and Klein Nederburg.

There are also large gated communities developed towards the South of the town on the way to Franschhoek, such as Boschenmeer (golf estate), Val de Vie (polo estate) and Pearl Valley (golf estate).

SCHOOLS

The town boasts some of the best academic high schools in the country including Paarl Gimnasium High School (est. 1858), La Rochelle Girls\' High School (est.1860), Paarl
Paarl
Boys\' High School (est.1868) and Paarl Girls\' High . Paarl
Paarl
Girls\' High was placed 17th in the National Senior Certificate's "Excellence in academic performance" awards in 2012.

NOTABLE RESIDENTS

* Archie Crail - writer * Stephanus Jacobus du Toit
Stephanus Jacobus du Toit
- Taalstryder (language warrior) * Jacob Daniël du Toit (Totius) - (Born Paarl
Paarl
1877) poet and Taalstryder * Jean de Villiers - rugby union player * David James - actor * Wayne Julies - rugby union player * Elsa Joubert - author * Eugène Marais
Eugène Marais
- author and poet * Karel Schoeman - author * Marius Charl Joubert - rugby union player * Justin Lee Ontong - cricketer Cape Cobras * Gurthro Steenkamp - rugby union player * Willem de Waal - rugby union player * Chester Mornay Williams - rugby union player * Louis Theodor Weichardt - founder and leader of the Greyshirts * Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
- released from Victor Vester Prison in Paarl
Paarl
on 11 February 1990 * Ryk Neethling - swimmer and Olympian * Peter de Villiers
Peter de Villiers
- former coach of the South Africa
South Africa
national rugby union team (Springboks)

COATS OF ARMS

MUNICIPALITY (1) — On 18 July 1905, the municipal council accepted a coat of arms presented by Adriaan Moorrees (af). It was the arms of Hendrik van Reede van Drakenstein : a silver shield charged with two dancetty black bars and crowned with a golden coronet. The supporters were two golden gryphons. The motto was Pour le salut du peuple ("For the wellbeing of the people"). Sometimes, the arms were depicted as silver dancetty bars on a blue shield. Paarl
Paarl
coat of arms (1951)

MUNICIPALITY (2) — The arms were re-designed in 1950 by Colin Graham Botha , and granted by the College of Arms on 22 January 1951. They were published in the Cape Province's Official Gazette in 1955, re-granted by the provincial administrator in 1967, and certified by the Bureau of Heraldry
Bureau of Heraldry
in 1969.

In the new version, each of the dancetty bars on the shield displayed two pearls; the supporters were red with blue wings dotted with golden fleurs de lis; and the crest was a red demi-gryphon with blue wings holding a bunch of grapes.

DIVISIONAL COUNCIL — The divisional council was the local authority which administered the rural areas outside the town. It registered a coat of arms at the Bureau of Heraldry
Bureau of Heraldry
on 20 October 1978. Once again, the Van Reede shield formed the basis of the design. Down the middle of the shield was a red pale displaying a bunch of grapes between two pearls. The crest was a fleur de lis. The motto was Animus et fata ("Courage and fortune").

MBEKWENI — The local authority for the Black township of Mbekweni registered arms at the Bureau on 5 May 1989. The shield is divided per chevron into red and green, with a golden chevron rompu across the centre and a silver cross pommy below it. Above the arms was a green mural crown decorated with a band of red edged in gold. The motto was uXolo neMpulelelo.

SEE ALSO

* List of heritage sites in Paarl

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C D "Main Place Paarl". Census 2011. * ^ A B Raper, P. E. Paarl. Dictionary of Southern African Place Names. archive.org. Retrieved 28 October 2013. * ^ BBC on this Day 11 Feb 1990: Freedom of Nelson Mandela * ^ A B C http://www.paarlonline.com/history.html * ^ The concise illustrated South African Encyclopaedia. P. Schirmer, 1980. Central News Agency, Johannesburg. First edition, about 211pp * ^ A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels in All Parts of the World, Vol XVI. John Pinkerton, 1814. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme. * ^ "Main Place \'Paarl\'". Census 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2011. * ^ "Things to do in Paarl
Paarl
Paarl
Paarl
Directory". www.paarldirectory.co.za. Retrieved 2016-02-29. * ^ "Spice Route Destination Paarl, South Africa". www.spiceroute.co.za. Retrieved 2015-08-18. * ^ "The Swartland Revolution Spice Route Winery". www.spiceroutewines.co.za. Retrieved 2015-08-18. * ^ Annual Bulletin. University of Cape Town
Cape Town
Mountain and Ski Club (UCTMSC), 1970. * ^ http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/docs/2013/wc_top_schools.pdf * ^ Western Cape Archives : Paarl
Paarl
Municipal Minutes (18 July 1905). * ^ A B C National Archives of South Africa
South Africa
: Data of the Bureau of Heraldry

EXTERNAL