PAARL (/ˈpɑːrl/ ; Afrikaans: or more commonly ; derived from
Parel, meaning Pearl in Dutch ) is a city with 191,013 inhabitants in
Western Cape province of
South Africa . It is the third oldest
town and European settlement in the Republic of
South Africa (after
Cape Town and
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 in the
Western Cape Province and is
renowned for its haunting scenic beauty and deep viticulture and fruit
Paarl is the seat of the
Drakenstein Local Municipality ; although
not part of the
Cape Town metropolitan area, it falls within its
Paarl is unusual in
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 or in die
Pêrel ("in the Paarl"), rather than in Paarl.
Paarl gained international attention when, on 11 February 1990,
Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster Correctional Centre (now
Drakenstein Correctional Centre
Drakenstein Correctional Centre ) in
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 hosted a match from the
ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 . The
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 Rock ". This huge granite rock is formed by three rounded
outcrops that make up
Paarl Mountain and has been compared in majesty
Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) in Australia. (However, they
are not geologically similar.
Paarl Rock consists of intrusive igneous
Uluru is a sedimentary remnant).
* 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
The area that is now known as
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
Paarl Mountain, Tortoise Mountain.
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 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 -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
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.
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 ", 21.2% as "White ", 10.5% as "
Black African ", and 0.5% as
"Indian or Asian ". 85.5% spoke
Afrikaans as their first language ,
8.5% spoke Xhosa , and 5.2% spoke English .
Paarl Rock in foreground with the town behind
it and Du Toit's Peak towering behind Afrikaanse Taalmonument
Like many towns in the Cape Winelands,
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 boasts a unique cultural attraction: it was here that the
foundations of the
Afrikaans language were laid by the Genootskap van
Regte Afrikaners . The "
Afrikaanse Taalmonument " (monument to the
Afrikaans language) on the slopes of
Paarl Mountain, the Language
Museum (Taalmuseum) and the
Afrikaans Language Route through Dal
Josaphat are memorials to this achievement.
The former headquarters of the wine industry in
South Africa is also
situated here.: This was the famous "Co-operative
Association" (better known by its
Afrikaans initials KWV).
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,
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 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
Paarl wine route, with its many wine tasting opportunities.
The old Spice Route
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
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
the "Spice Route" for spice trade in the 15th century. Paarl
from the summit of
Paarl Mountain, looking across to the
Klein-Drakenstein and Du Toitskloof Mountains
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 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
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 (generally known as
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 (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).
The town boasts some of the best academic high schools in the country
Paarl Gimnasium High School (est. 1858), La Rochelle Girls\'
High School (est.1860),
Paarl Boys\' High School (est.1868) and Paarl
Girls\' High .
Paarl Girls\' High was placed 17th in the National
Senior Certificate's "Excellence in academic performance" awards in
Archie Crail - writer
Stephanus Jacobus du Toit
Stephanus Jacobus du Toit - Taalstryder (language warrior)
* Jacob Daniël du Toit (Totius) - (Born
Paarl 1877) poet and
Jean de Villiers - rugby union player
* David James - actor
Wayne Julies - rugby union player
Elsa Joubert - author
Eugène Marais - author and poet
Karel Schoeman - author
* Marius Charl Joubert - rugby union player
* Justin Lee Ontong - cricketer
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
Nelson Mandela - released from Victor Vester Prison in
Paarl on 11
Ryk Neethling - swimmer and Olympian
Peter de Villiers
Peter de Villiers - former coach of the
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 coat of
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
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
List of heritage sites in Paarl
* ^ 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,
* ^ 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
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 Mountain and Ski Club
* ^ http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/docs/2013/wc_top_schools.pdf
Western Cape Archives :
Paarl Municipal Minutes (18 July 1905).
* ^ A B C National Archives of
South Africa : Data of the Bureau of