28 Mai 2010 | Windhoek

Historical monuments in Windhoek

Alte Feste - Robert Mugabe AvenueOne of the oldest buildings in Windhoek with its cornerstone laid in 1890. The Alte Feste served as military headquarters until 1915 and then as a hostel for the Windhoek High School up to 1935. It now houses the State Museum, where the historic Independence Collection reflecting events leading up to the independence of Namibia can be viewed. It was declared a national monument in 1957.CastlesAs you leave Klein Windhoek there are three castles to your right. The most visible is Schwerinsburg, which was built in 1891. After it was built it served as a restaurant called "Sperlingslust" before being turned into a private home. Today it is the residence of the Italian Ambassador to Namibia. Sanderburg is the smallest of the three, whilst Heinitzburg, is the only public one. Built in 1914, Heinitzburg is now a hotel and restaurant.Elisabeth House - Polytechnic of Namibia, Storch StreetIn the Elisabeth House, Gottlieb Redecker and Wilhelm Sander created an architectural symbiosis of two different buildings and combined them into one complex. This structure is unique in Namibia. The official gazette proclaiming the building as a national monument provides the following background: "The Elisabeth House was erected on the initiative of the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft as maternity home and was used as such up to and including 1981. The Women's Association of the Red Cross for Germans Overseas administered the maternity ward. Between 1908 and 1981, 12669 babies were born in this ward." The building, which was erected in 1907, was named after Duchess Elisabeth zu Mecklenburg, wife of the President of the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft. Gibeon Meteorites - Post Street MallThe 30 Gibeon Meteorites, 600 million years old, are mounted on steel columns in Post Street Mall. Between 1911 and 1913, Dr. Paul Range, the State Geologists for the Government of German SWA, collected 37 meteorite fragments in the Gibeon area. Their weight ranged between 195 - 506 kg. Two were stolen while in storage, while four were donated to various institutions for research purposes. Since the installation of the Meteorite Fountain, another meteorite has disappeared. All pieces are thought to be part of one large meteorite with a mass of over 17 tonnes, which fragmented long before it entered the earth's atmosphere. Heroe's Acre - about 5 km south of Windhoek on the road to RehobothHeroe's Acre is a memorial, constructed in 2002, in recognition and remembrance of the extraordinary sons and daughters, who contributed immensely to the fight for Namibia's independence, freedom and democracy. Heroe's Acre is a place dedicated for people to honour, pay homage to and respect the spirits of the fallen heroes and heroines, whose blood waters Namibia's freedom.Kudu Statue - c/o Independence Avenue and John Meinert StreetA visiting sculptor, Professor Fritz Behn of Munich, once drew a kudu in the guest book of Mrs. Olga Levinson, former President of the Art Association. "What a marvelous monument that would make", she commented. Mr. Ernst Behnsen, a prominent Windhoek businessman offered to pay the total cost of the bronze sculpture. Professor Behn designed, sculpted and cast the life-size statue in Munich. The Town Council provided a suitable site and constructed a pedestal near a fountain in front of the High Court in today's Independence Avenue, which was unveiled in 1960. The Kudu statue, a "spirit of hope", in combination with outstanding artistic craftsmanship, symbolizes a shared passion for the beautiful abundance of the country's wildlife, Relics of the prehistoric elephant - Zoo Park, Independence AvenueA startling archaeological site between 5000 and 20000 years old of an elephant kill, with bones and stone tools, was discovered in the Zoo Park during reconstruction works in 1961. For many years the articles were exhibited in a showcase in the Zoo Park, but were removed eventually and replaced with a 2 m high stone column sculpted by internationally known Namibian artist Dörte Berner. The original elephant remains and stone tools are now stored at the National Museum of Namibia. Statue of Curt von Francois - c/o Independence Avenue and Sam Nujoma DriveOutside the Municipal building stands the 2.4 m high-bronze statue of Curt von Francois, gazing down Independence Avenue. It was unveiled on October 18, 1965 during the 75-year anniversary celebrations of Windhoek. About 50m to the east of the statue on the large stairs stands a black marble obelisk with the following inscription: "Curt von Francois ended in 1890 the first Compass Route survey on 18 October", in English, Afrikaans and German languages. This obelisk was unveiled exactly 90 years later on October 18, 1980.Tintenpalast - Mugabe AvenueThe government administrative office set in large gardens overlooking Windhoek, are known as the "Tintenpalast", which translated from German means "palace of ink". Government administrators, it seems, were using a lot of ink. The Legislative Assembly Hall in the Tintenpalast was officially opened in May 1964 and in 1990 became the seat of the Parliament of Namibia.

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