Connect with us

World History

The Sudden Rise and Fall of Kolmanskop

You might have seen several videos of urban explorers traveling to many abandoned buildings and places. Watching their videos can be scary and intriguing because you will never know what you can find in a place that has not been maintained for many years. But what if you had the opportunity to visit an abandoned town?

You have Kolmanskop, a former diamond-mining town that flourished many decades ago but met an unfortunate accident that put the entire town in disarray. You should know its rich history before you plan a trip to Kolmanskop and look at the beautiful yet eerie ghost town.

A Brief History of Kolmanskop

In 1908, a Namibian railroad worker named Zacheria Lewala discovered a diamond pocket when he was shoveling sands off the railroad tracks. Even when he discovered the diamonds, he was not rewarded or compensated for his discovery. Years after, tons of prospectors managed to set up shop and soon built a town. It was also when the town managed to produce millions of carats per year, which made up at least 11.7% of the total diamond production worldwide.

Ever since discovering the diamonds, it became a prosperous town located in the middle of the desert. The population managed to build different buildings, including a post office and a bakery. Some bakers and butchers provided quality food to the residents of Kolmanskop. Even families in the town were so wealthy that they had a pet ostrich that disturbed other townspeople and pulled a sleigh during Christmas.

The Unexpected Fall of Kolmanskop

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

While everyone enjoyed their wealth, no one knew that things would start to go bad in Kolmanskop. When German authorities wanted control over the diamonds, they declared a vast area of Namibia a restricted zone, forbidding entry to most people and reserving the rights to a Berlin-based company. The situation worsened when the tribespeople was made to work as laborers to mine diamonds. After every job, they would sleep in cramped compounds for months.

After years of continuous mining, the resources depleted during the 1930s. Two years before the area’s depletion, locals found that the diamond fields were situated on the beach terraces. It made the townspeople of Kolmanskop vacate and abandon the town, leaving most of their homes and possessions behind.

Fast forward to 1956, no one was living in Kolmanskop, and it was finally considered an abandoned town. The dunes near the Lewala railroad tracks made their way into the homes and buildings, filling each structure’s interior with tons of sand.

Kolmanskop ghost town in southern Namibia.

Famous Tourist Attraction

A local private organization called “Ghost Town Tours” was granted the concession to turn Kolmanskop into a tourist attraction. At least 35,000 tourists visit the abandoned town each year, taking photos and checking out the inside of the sand-filled buildings. The money generated from tours goes over to the coastal town of Lüderitz.

Riley Brown
Written By

Riley is a history, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in San Diego. He received his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Multimedia from the University of Oregon. His work has been featured in many finance and lifestyle publications throughout the US. When he is not writing, Riley enjoys reading and hanging out at the beach with his dog.


You May Also Like

World History

The ‘Konfrontasi’ as those in Indonesia called it, was a confrontation between the British Commonwealth forces and Indonesian forces. The dispute was over whether...

World History

Greece is the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. The country has produced some of the most famous and influential philosophers...

World History

Liberal military officials who were against the conservative ideas and views of Tsar Nicholas I organized a revolt that they thought would pave the...

World History

Serfdom is the term to describe the institutional system that forced peasants to provide labor to landlords to let them occupy the land. Serfdom...

World History

After the end of World War II, Japan was severely damaged by the nuclear bombs, code-named Fat Man and Little Boy that were dropped...

World History

The Malayan Emergency occurred in British Malaya, including the Malay Peninsula and Singapore Island states. These regions were under the control of the British...

World History

As the Ottoman Empire declined, the Russian Tsar Nicholas I saw a chance to expand his rule over the Middle East and the Eastern...

World History

Who Were The Serfs? Serfs were Russian peasant tenants who lived on large estates and worked as laborers performing different tasks, looking after the...