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This ghost town once produced one million carats of diamonds annually

This ghost town once produced one million carats of diamonds annually
  • PublishedSeptember 22, 2023

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The prospectors all left by 1956 when the diamonds were worth less and harder to find. The Sun.
The prospectors all left by 1956 when the diamonds were worth less and harder to find. The Sun. 

In the vast expanse of our planet, there are places that defy imagination, beckoning us to explore their captivating mysteries. 

These strange and remote corners of the Earth hold stories that span generations, leaving us wondering about their past and their future. 

Today, we embark on a journey to Namibia’s desert heart, where the abandoned town of Kolmanskop is situated. 

It was a once-thriving diamond mining town. But, now it lies abandoned, swallowed by the relentless sands of time.

Located deep within the unforgiving Namibian desert, Kolmanskop emerges as a haunting reminder of a bygone era. 

Sand dunes broke through the doors, damaging them and piling up inside the houses. The Sun
Sand dunes broke through the doors, damaging them and piling up inside the houses. The Sun

Kolmanskop’s story began with an astonishing discovery – diamonds found casually strewn upon the desert sands. 

Picture a time when these precious gems were so abundant that they gleamed under the African sun, promising wealth beyond imagination.

Back in the early 1900s, a railway worker named Zacharias Lewala stumbled upon one of these sparkling treasures while clearing sand from the rail tracks. His find, which turned out to be an expensive diamond, sparked a frenzy that drew German miners to this barren desert land in search of their fortunes.

Kolmanskop once had hundreds of Germans living and working in the village. The Sun
 Kolmanskop once had hundreds of Germans living and working in the village. The Sun

The town of Kolmanskop grew from the dust, mirroring the grandeur of European settlements with amenities like a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, and even a theatre. It also boasted the southern hemisphere’s first X-ray station and Africa’s inaugural tram. 

In its heyday, 300 German adults, along with 40 children and 800 native Owambo workers, called Kolmanskop home. It was a vibrant community that thrived on the wealth beneath the desert floor.

The first diamond was found when a worker was cleaning the train tracks in the Namibian desert. The Sun
The first diamond was found when a worker was cleaning the train tracks in the Namibian desert. The Sun

However, as history often tells, fortunes rise and fall. After World War I, diamond prices plummeted, and richer deposits of diamonds were discovered elsewhere. 

The once-bustling town soon emptied, leaving behind a ghost town that the desert began to reclaim. Sand dunes crept through the houses, flinging open doors and slowly filling these once-prosperous buildings with heaps of smooth sand.

The birds eye view of the abandoned village. The Sun
The bird’s eye view of the abandoned village. The Sun 

Today, Kolmanskop stands as a testament to the ebb and flow of time. 

It draws over 35,000 curious visitors annually who come to witness the eerie beauty of a town that nature has slowly but surely reclaimed. 

Yet, the question lingers – can this relic of the past endure, or will it become another tale buried in the sands of history? 

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