May 28, 2015
1615 NAMIBIA - Windhoek
Located in central Namibia, in the Khomas Highland plateau area, Windhoek is the capital and largest city of the Namibia. The town developed at the site of a permanent spring known to the indigenous pastoral communities. It developed rapidly after Jonker Afrikaner, Captain of the Orlam settled here in 1840 and built a stone church for his community. However, in the decades thereafter multiple wars and hostilities led to the neglect and destruction of the new settlement such that Windhoek was founded a second time in 1890 by Imperial German army Major Curt von François. Even in 1971, there were roughly 26,000 whites living in Windhoek (among which at least 9,000 individuals were German speakers), outnumbering the black population of 24,000.
After 1907, the city has developed accelerated, because many people migrated from the countryside, and also there was a large influx of European settlers arriving from Germany and South Africa. The German colonial era came to an end during WWI when South African troops occupied Windhoek on behalf of the British Empire. After WWII, its development gradually gained momentum, as more capital became available to improve the area's economic climate. Even if is situated at around 1,700m above sea level, the city has a semi-arid climate. Days are mostly warm with very hot days during the summer months, while nights are generally cool. The winter months usually experience little or no rain.
Among the notable landmarks of the city is the Christ Church (Christuskirche), opened in 1910, and dedicated as the Church of Peace. Built in the Gothic revival style with Art Nouveau elements, stands in the historic center of Windhoek. Its 24m high spire was made, like the rest of the church, out of quartz sandstone mined at Guche-Ganus Farm. The portal and the altar were made of marble from Italy, and the clock and part of the roof was shipped from Germany.
Near the church is the Equestrian Monument, more commonly known under its German original name Reiterdenkmal and the name Südwester Reiter (Rider of South-West). The statue was inaugurated in 1912, the birthday of German emperor Wilhelm II. The monument honours the soldiers and civilians that died on the German side of the Herero and Namaqua War of 1904-1907, a situation that caused controversy about its current role in a democratic Namibia that has shed its colonial occupation and gained independence.
About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series Medium-sized Antelopes of Namibia, about which I wrote here.
Windhoek - Wikipedia
Sent from Katutura (Khomas / Namibia), on 01.04.2015
Photo: Wynand du Plessis