Kolmanskop Ghost Town

Once the hot African morning of 1908, there lived a certain light on Zakaris left. He served on the narrow gauge railway worker linking Windhoek and Luderitz, and so would have existed himself happily, if not his passion for a relaxing morning stroll.

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So, walking along entrusted to his care railways, Hon ger Levan dreamed of cold beer, idly picking sand toe, when in fact the sand gleamed something suspicious. "Cool glass" - thought ingenuous Zakaris, put it in his pocket, and the same evening boasted a gimmick before his foreman Shtauhom Augustus.

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Mum August Shtauha should I tell you, fools do not give birth - to work in his time in Kimberley foreman quickly recognized in a glass diamond. Without attracting undue attention, smart Shtauh rushed to stake a large tract along the narrow saddle in the Dolomite mountain range near Luderitz. On this unique corridor of wind carries the sand adjacent to the mouth of the Orange southern Namib desert further north. It was there, realized the clever foreman, small diamonds, handed down the river to the ocean, and then thrown away by the surf on the shore, carried along with the sand. In a few years, August Shtauh became a multimillionaire.

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While all oceanfront Namibia belong to Germany, so the newborn epicenter diamond fever was built in the German style, with Germany's thoroughness. Africa's not resemble anything but sand and heat. In a prospecting town Kolmanskope opened hospitals, power plants, a ballroom, a theater, a casino, and room for a game of bowling.

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In Kolmanskop from around the world pulled hundreds obsessed slight enrichment - in fact in this desolate corner of the diamond was so much that the workers were crawling on his stomach and easily raked them with a brush in a scoop. Luck Hunters coming and coming, the population had reached 1,100 (300 masters and 800 German contract workers).

Quench your thirst for champagne and a product of the local lemonade shop, hunger - Food own abattoirs and bakeries. Earned a furniture factory and the first in Africa tram. Owners Kolmanskopa bathed in luxury and bliss, like being in an earthly paradise.

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Union of South Africa not long envied German sybarite, and then, having decided to take the situation under control, attacked Namibia. The operation was successful, and his fateful Kolmanskop sands came to power JUAS and De Beers, with its slogan "Diamonds are forever". However, it soon appeared that fate can not only present, but also take away gifts - perhaps something immigrants hurt local deities, or perhaps just born under an unlucky star.

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The fun ended abruptly in 1918, the year: people Kolmanskopa, crawling on his knees, pereseyali all the sand in the area, and the deeper sand, clay, diamond was found - they just ran out along with poker and mazurka. It turned out that to live in this town hard, and no reason: not only that constant sandstorms, so also the lack of drinking water. And in ten years after the mass exodus of people - in 1918, most people had left Kolmanskop and moved south to the Orange River, where he opened a fresh field of their favorite stones.

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Since Kolmanskop is amazing and a ghost town in the middle of a sandy desert. Today of past glory Kolmanskopa little like - in the once posh homes live sand and the wind howled. In 1980, the local diamond Trust little huts patched here and there threw a particularly brazen dunes and named Kolmanskop open-air museum.

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Being in the Sperrgebiet - closed to the public and heavily guarded area, owned by De Beers - Kolmanskop is sensitive sites: To get to it you have to buy a special permit in nearby Luderitz. For all other wicket in the very gritty city on Earth is locked territory patrolled evil guys with guns, and somewhere close so far extracted famous Namibian diamonds. Well, there is now the tram will not wait.

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Photography by Moro.

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