Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lüderitz, Goerke House


The description of this house begins usually with the words "The One of the most beautiful buildings in town."

The house is named after the first owner, Hans Goerke, who arrived in Namibia (which at that time bore the name of German South West Africa) in 1904. He belonged to the staff of the German colonial troops (Shutztruppe. After finding diamonds in Kolmanskoppe Goerke left the army and started to work as the manager of the diamond mine.

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The house was built in one year, the construction began in October 1909 and the house was completed by September 1910. Very likely the architect was Otto Ertl. Hans Goerke himself lived in this house for two years, and then left for Germany. The guide of the tour said that Goerke`s wife had not wished to live in that house.

Eight years later the CDM (Consolidated Diamond Mines) bought the house and the Chief Engineer was accommodated there.

The house was bought by Consolidated Diamond Mines (CDM) in 1920. In 1944 it was sold on to the government of SWA. It became the official residence of the magistrate, and so became known as the Drostdy. In 1981 there was so little crime in Lüderitz that the government decided to move the magistrate to Keetmanshoop, and CDM bought the building back. Today the house is completely renovated and used as the VIP guesthouse.

The House is open to visitors only a few hours a day, on weekdays from two o'clock until four o'clock, and on Saturdays and Sundays from four o'clock to five o`clock. The ticket and the guide service together cost 25 Namibian dollars (2.5 euro).

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The sundial on the wall of the house shows Namibian summer time, which is the same as that during Estonian winter period. The picture was taken at half past four.

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The children playing in the street confirmed that the museum was open.

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Welcome letter on the wall right at the entrance. I found online the English translation, “Whoever enters this house with a positive attitude will be valued and welcomed here”.

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There are old folders, documents over a hundred years old on the table of the ticket–seller.

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The first-floor dining-room.

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The window with flamingos by the second floor stairway.

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The second floor, the picture is taken on the stairs leading to the tower room.

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The Tower Room.

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The bathroom has been updated. Like a real guesthouse should be. The kitchen was also new and with modern technology, but it was dark in the house as there was no electricity at the moment.

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A bedroom.

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The first-floor hallway.

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A view of the city.

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The attic door was open – so here is one more picture. Didn`t go down to the dark basement.

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It is completely understandable that this house is a National Monument of Namibia since 1975.

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