Ghost Town Kolmanskop, Namibia

A few miles from the port town of Lüderitz in Namibia is a well-known ghost town, Kolmanskop. In the 19th century, this area of desert was a thriving diamond-mining town.

Diamonds were discovered in the desert in 1908, and Germans quickly moved in to exploit the discovery. The town that grew up was wealthy, with a hospital, school, ballroom, power station, theater, casino and even an ice-making factory. As the supply of diamonds was exhausted, the people started leaving. Less than 50 years after that first discovery of a diamond, the town was completely abandoned.

The desert, with its eternal patience, has taken back the playgrounds where children once played, the roads, the vegetable markets and the saloons. A piece of a tram track that once carried chatting residents sits alone in the desert. Sand displaces the dining tables and chairs. Doors have become tunnels to the inside of empty homes.

The final, quiet solitude, the non-existent echoes in this vast Namibia desert is a reminder of the impermanence of man’s constructions.

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