KOLMANSKOP

Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop was once a prosperous diamond-mining town. Now, it's a slowly sinking city in the desert of southern Namibia.

Kolmanskop

Diamond In The Rough

In 1908, a railway worker found a diamond amongst the sand while working on the rail line.

Kolmanskop

Diamond Fever

Soon after, fortune hunters rushed into the Namib Desert hoping to strike it rich. In a short space of time, Kolmanskop had plunged into diamond fever.

Kolmanskop

German Influence

Driven by the enormous wealth of the first diamond miners, an extravagant village was built in the architectural style of a German town. In German, the town name translates to Kolmannskuppe.

Kolmanskop

Exclusive Neighbourhood

The original town was complete with exclusive residential buildings, a hospital, power station, school, theatre, casino, sports hall, factories, tram and railway, and the first x-ray station in the southern hemisphere.

1920s Boom

1920s Boom

The development of Kolmanskop reached its pinnacle in the 1920s with nearly 1,200 residents – a mixture of local contract workers and German colonialists.

Kolmanskop

Diminishing Returns

Prior to World War I, over 900kg of diamonds were sifted from the sands of the Namib Desert. During the war, prices of gemstones diminished and the diamond-field was slowly exhausted.

Kolmanskop

Moving South

Richer diamond deposits were soon discovered further south and by 1956, the town was completely abandoned.

Kolmanskop

Ghost Town

In 1980, the mining company De Beers established a museum and restored a number of buildings in the town. Whilst the crumbling ruins of Kolmanskop bear little resemblance to its former glory, the eerie ghost town is now a popular tourist destination.

Kolmanskop

Sand Dunes

Within a span of 40 years Kolmanskop flourished and died. The famous ghost town now fights a constant battle against encroaching sand dunes.

Sources

 - Namibia Travel Net
 - Amusing Planet
 - All images via Thinkstock.com