The bones of a grand town lie in the dry, barren stretches on the edge of the Namib Desert in southwestern Africa. Among the gentle curves of the sand drifts and bleached outcrops of stone, ornate buildings are rising, defying their desolate surroundings and exuding an air of quiet dignity.
Out of the diamond boom, Kolmanskop grew. At the beginning of the century, Germany administered the region, and the city reflected this in its character. The Germans were told that they only started looking for suitable plots to build their houses after they had finished building the pub and the skittle alley, their favorite form of relaxation. The area produced one million carats or 11.7 percent of the total diamond production worldwide in 1912.
Such wealth meant that the miners could afford every possible European luxury despite the harsh climate and isolation. There was a local butcher, baker and post office in the town. An ice plant was set up to make blocks for use in food coolers and to produce the delicious lemonade of the city itself. To accommodate the architect, teacher, doctor, and mining managers of the city, elaborate houses were built. Two German doctors were employed in a large hospital, one of whom was understandably popular to prescribe a tonic of caviar sandwiches and champagne for his patients.
There was no lack of entertainment for the residents either. A German expert has been brought in to design and oversee the construction of a magnificent hall, with so fine acoustics that visitors are still encouraged to test them and burst into song today. The mine even paid for shipping opera companies to perform in this oasis from Europe. Local orchestra, theater group, and gymnastics troops also used the hall.
It's worth getting a photo permit for any photography lover. This allows you to sunset in and out of the sunrise. And you can capture the beauty of the city with the right light. We got our entry ticket at Luderitz Safaris and downtown Tours one day earlier. And the owner kindly provided us with a simple map so we could learn more about the buildings. Just park your car outside the gate and start your exploration. Honestly, the city is less deserted, as expected. The place is amazing, though. Starting at 8, you will get your car park inside the parking area. And the crowd also comes in. We didn't have time to explore all the buildings, but we had such an amazing time exploring different houses and taking photo tones. It's pretty windy early in the morning and you might need some climbing and crawling to take good pictures. So dress up like that.
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