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Luderitz is a historic town on the coast of Namibia, founded by the Germans. The town has retained its charming German ambience in the form of many historic colonial style structures, which reflect the turn of the century Art Nouveau architecture synonymous with German culture at the time. Founded in 1883, the town was a trading post, fishing and guano-harvesting region, until 1909, when diamonds were discovered in the nearby area of Kolamskop. In the modern era, diamonds are mainly found elsewhere, which has allowed Luderitz to remain unchanged and unspoilt for decades, since its brief surge of prosperity during early 20th century. The town is a fascinating section of Namibia's coastline and an intriguing and unique cruise destination.
Despite the region's arid environment, Luderitz's combination of spectacular natural landscape, interesting culture and rich history generates and fascinating ambience for visitors to experience for themselves. Superb excursion opportunities include boat trips off the Namibian coast, to observe majestic ocean wildlife such as dolphins and seals, as well as on land journeys to areas of natural beauty, such as Diaz Point of Grusse Bucht. Shark Island is also an interesting local destination and was once used as a horrifying concentration camp with a high mortality rate. Other popular attractions include:
Kolmanskop Ghost Town
Kolmanskop was once a bustling hub of activity with a large population during the diamond rush of the early 20th century. However, when richer diamond deposits were found in the nearby area of Oranjemund, the majority of settlers left the town in search of diamonds elsewhere. The last inhabitant left the town in 1956 and since then it has been one of Namibia's most prominent ghost towns. Guided tours of the ghost town can be arranged with informative guides, who enjoy explaining and discussing the town's history with fascinated visitors.
Luderitz Station Building
Dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, the Luderitz Station Building was built by settlers to improve the region's infrastructure during the area's diamond mining period. Designed in the traditional German colonial style, the building is a testament to the architecture of the era.
Sometimes referred to as Felsenkirche or The Church on the Rocks, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Luderitz is the highest placed structure in the region. The church was consecrated in August 1912 during the German occupation of Namibia. The structure boasts a Victorian Gothic style of architecture and was constructed by Albert Bause, who was inspired by the style of design found around his former home at Cape Colony. Nowadays, the church is still in excellent condition and was declared a national monument in 1978.
Visitors can purchase a range of local arts, crafts and produce around town, including locally caught seafood on Luderitz's bustling markets, as well as traditional woven rugs and garments from the Karaman Weavery.
As a coastal town, delicious seafood can be found across town in many excellent local restaurants. Rock lobster is a particularly popular dish and is served in the majority of Luderitz's eating establishments.
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