May 16, 2015

1584 NAMIBIA - Swakopmund Lighthouse

Swakopmund (German for "Mouth of the Swakop"), the fourth largest population centre in Namibia, is situated in the Namib desert, on the coast of western Namibia. Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for  German South-West Africa, it is an example of German colonial architecture, and a sizable part of its population is still German-speaking today. Swakopmund Lighthouse (present in the town's coat of arms), located opposite of Municipal gardens, was opened in July 1902, so it is the oldest lighthouse in Namibia. It is still in operation (being integral part of Swakopmund's skyline), guiding ships with its light seen as far as from 35 nautical miles, and also housing a restaurant.

It is often mentioned that the first lighthouse had been built onto the tip of the pier (Mole). The tower on the pier was simply a beacon, 6.5 m high with a light on top, which marked the entrance to the harbour. It was washed away by the sea less than five months after the inauguration of the Mole. The lighthouse acquired its height of 28m in 1911, when the cupola was removed and put back into place again after raising the original tower by 16 m. In 1940 a radio beacon was added, and In 1956 the lighthouse's intermittent light was automated. The upper portion (added in 1911) is painted with red and white horizontal bands, and the lower portion (built in 1902) is unpainted brick.

About the stamp

The stamp, depicting Comicus capensis, is part of the series of three, designed by Helge Denker, issued on February 6, 2015, and dedicated to Namib Sand Sea, designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site. All along the coast between Lüderitz and Swakopmund are sand dunes, sculptured by the wind into fantastic shapes and preventing inland communications. The colours of the dunes are ranging from pink to vivid orange and some of them belong to the highest dunes in the world. The biggest is the Dune 7, also known as Big Daddy, 383m in height. It is also the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog.
• Sossusvlei Deadvlei - It's on other postcard
• Biodiversity / Endemism - It's on the postcard
• Sandwich Harbour

History of Lighthouse in Swakopmund - The Online Guide to Namibia & Travel Boutique

Sender: Ester
Sent from Windhoek (Khomas / Namibia), on 21.04.2015
Photo: Wynand du Plessis

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