Visit Paternoster

Paternoster means ‘our father’ in Latin. The village is said to be named for the grateful prayers of Portuguese shipwreck survivors, but this is mere speculation.

Visit Paternoster

Cape Columbine lighthouse, near Paternoster, was the last manned lighthouse to be built along the South African coastline – in 1936. The light can be seen for 50km and one keeper still mans the lighthouse.

Visit Paternoster

People born and bred in Paternoster are known as ‘mosselvreters’ or mussel eaters.

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Did you know

  • Paternoster means ‘our father’ in Latin. The village is said to be named for the grateful prayers of Portuguese shipwreck survivors, but this is mere speculation.
  • There are three other known Paternosters in the world: an island and lighthouse off the coast of Sweden, a valley on Signy island in Antarctica, and the square in front of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
  • Cape Columbine lighthouse, near Paternoster, was the last manned lighthouse to be built along the South African coastline – in 1936. The light can be seen for 50km and one keeper still mans the lighthouse.
  • There are ancient Strandloper middens dotted around the village.
  • In old times, an extensive natural cave network along the coast was used to hide loot from sunken ships.
  • Two ships named ‘Columbine’ have sunk off Paternoster.
  • Columbine lighthouse is the first one sighted by ships coming from Europe.
  • There are 247 known ship wrecks between Paternoster and Dassen Island, 100 km further south.
  • The Paternoster Hotel was the first hotel established by the Tollman family, who now own the international Red Carnation hotel group.
  • Redro fishpaste was originally manufactured in Paternoster in the 1930s and there was a crawfish (crayfish) canning factory in the village too.
  • Tietiesbaai, adjacent to Paternoster is named to commemorate a popular fisherman Jacob Titus, who drowned there.
  • People born and bred in Paternoster are known as ‘mosselvreters’ or mussel eaters.