Namibia destination information: Windhoek - Namibia's capital, modern day Namibia, colonial architecture, townships, sightseeing highlights

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Destination Info: Khomas - Windhoek & Surroundings - Part 1

     

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The capital city of Namibia, Windhoek, is as unusual a place as the country itself:

Centrally located, at the intersection of the two most important overland roads that run north - south and east - west respectively, from one end of the vast territory to the other, Windhoek has got a unique character that is made up of countless contrasting features. With only about 280 000 inhabitants, it is one of the smallest capitals in the world, yet it counts amongst the most sophisticated and beautiful "little" cities in Africa.

In the modern central business district, with its cosy side-walk cafés, restaurants, and lively arts & crafts centres, steel-&-glass high-rise structures merge with well-preserved colonial architecture from the late 1800's. From the historic Government Buildings, surrounded by a formal park and still called by their century-old nick name "Ink Palace",

 

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Spring time in a
Windhoek garden
- the African crocus
bursts into bloom
with the first rainfalls
announcing the
arrival of summer.
Photo: I. Ohm

and the first large Evangelic-Lutheran Church (Christus Kirche) built in the traditional German style of the same era, magnificent vistas stretch across Windhoek's sun-soaked valley towards the remote Khomas Highlands. These famous landmarks were joint in recent years by the High Court that incorporates some of the former colonial army's barracks. The Old Fort situated nearby is another well preserved remnant of the very beginnings of Windhoek as a permanent settlement. 

The city centre is surrounded by sprawling green residential areas where family homes in spacious gardens create an atmosphere of country-living but are still just a stone-throw away from well-stocked grocery shops, fuel stations, and other modern-day amenities. The building boom experienced since Independence saw new suburbs emerge on the city boundaries and many changes happening in the former townships of Katutura and Khomasdal that were once assigned exclusively to black and brown population groups.

- to be continued

 

 

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Last Update:  August 2009