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Friday June 14, 2024

Mysterious ghost village that once sparkled with diamonds in its sand

The abandoned ghost village attracts over 35,000 curious visitors each year who come to witness the haunting beauty of a town swallowed by desert

By Web Desk
September 22, 2023
Sand dunes broke through the doors, damaging them and piling up inside the houses. The Sun
Sand dunes broke through the doors, damaging them and piling up inside the houses. The Sun

Have you ever wondered about the strange and enigmatic places that dot our planet? 

From eerie forests to deserted islands with dark histories, our world is full of captivating mysteries waiting to be unveiled. Today, we delve into the story of Kolmanskop, a forgotten diamond mining town in the heart of Namibia's desolate desert. 

What secrets does this ghost town hold, and why did it meet such a fate? Let's embark on a journey to discover the hidden treasures and tales buried beneath the sands.

Nestled in the unforgiving Namibian desert lies Kolmanskop, a desolate ghost town that once shimmered with diamonds. Imagine a place where diamonds were so abundant that they were found just sitting atop the sand. 

The prospectors all left by 1956 when the diamonds were worth less and harder to find. The Sun.
The prospectors all left by 1956 when the diamonds were worth less and harder to find. The Sun. 

The story begins in the early 1900s when a railway worker, Zacharias Lewala, unearthed a shiny gem while shovelling sand from the rail tracks. Little did he know that the discovery would set in motion a captivating tale of wealth, grandeur, and eventual abandonment. 

For decades, Kolmanskop thrived as hundreds of German miners scoured the desert sands in search of precious stones, producing a staggering one million carats of diamonds annually. 

Kolmanskop once had hundreds of Germans living and working in the village. The Sun
 Kolmanskop once had hundreds of Germans living and working in the village. The Sun

The town boasted an array of amenities that would rival any European settlement, including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, bowling alley, theatre, and even an ice factory to combat the scorching heat.

Kolmanskop was not just a mining hub, it was a vibrant community that reflected the affluence of its colonialist inhabitants.

The first diamond was found when a worker was cleaning the train tracks in the Namibian desert. The Sun
The first diamond was found when a worker was cleaning the train tracks in the Namibian desert. The Sun

However, as World War I came to an end and diamond prices plummeted, the town's fortune took a drastic turn. Richer diamond deposits were discovered elsewhere, and Kolmanskop was swiftly abandoned. 

Left untouched for decades, it succumbed to the relentless march of time and desert sands, with sand dunes infiltrating homes and burying them knee-deep in a surreal and otherworldly transformation.

The birds eye view of the abandoned village. The Sun
The bird's eye view of the abandoned village. The Sun 

Today, Kolmanskop stands as a testament to a bygone era. The village attracts over 35,000 curious visitors each year who come to witness the haunting beauty of a town swallowed by the desert.  

Yet, as studies reveal a concerning "marked deterioration" of the sand-swathed buildings, the question arises: will this once-prosperous diamond town remain preserved or be forever lost to the sands of time?

Kolmanskop's story is not just about diamonds. It's a tale of dreams, prosperity, and the relentless force of nature in a place where the past meets the present in a mesmerising dance.