Paarl is surrounded by fertile agricultural land.
Bain's Kloof Pass
From Paarl R 303 runs northeast, through magnificent scenery, to Ceres, going over Bain's Kloof Pass (595m/1952ft). This 30km/19mi long road, built in 1853, is still one of the finest pass roads in South Africa, offering marvelous views of Paarl, Wellington and Swartland.
Prominently situated on Paarl Mountain, to the west of the town center (reached by way of Jan Philips Mountain Drive), is the 57m/187ft high Taal Monument. The design of the monument, which was inaugurated in 1975, was the work of the architect Jan van Wyk and the writers C. J. Langenhoven and N. P. van Wyk Louw. It symbolizes the contributions made by Africa, the Netherlands and Britain to the development of the Afrikaans language. From the monument there are fine panoramic views.
Wellington, South Africa
20km/12.5mi north of Paarl, at the foot of Bain's Kloof, is Wellington (pop. 26,000). Situated in a fertile fruit-growing region, it is the main center in South Africa for the production of dried fruit.The first settlers here, in 1688, were Huguenots, who called the area Limiet Valley (the ''farthest valley''). Thereafter the settlement grew slowly. It was given its present name in 1840 in honor of the Duke of Wellington.The Wellington Museum has a collection of material illustrating the history of the town and the valley, with a section devoted to the development of education. There is also a good collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Huguenot University College. Other features of interest are the beautiful Victoria Jubilee Park and the Old Blockhouse, a relic of the Boer War which is now a national monument.
Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve (Meulwater Wild Flower Reserve)
A visit to the Taal Monument can be combined with a walk in the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve (area 2,000 ha/5,000ac). From the Britannia Rock (649m/2,129ft) there are beautiful views of the surrounding country.Adjoining the nature reserve, finely situated on the slopes of the hill, is the small Meulwater Wild Flower Reserve, with some 200 species of indigenous plants. It is particularly beautiful in late spring, when the flowers are in their many-colored glory.
Laborie, at the foot of Paarl Mountain, was formerly a sumptuous mansion and a famous estate; it now belongs to KWV.
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