Kolmanskop (German: Kolmannskuppe) is a ghost town in the Namib Desert in southern Namibia, 10 kilometres inland from the port town of Luederitz.
In 1908, a railway employee found a crystal while working in this area and showed it to his supervisor who identified it as a diamond. When realizing the area was rich in diamonds, German miners came pouring in. Driven by the enormous wealth of the first diamond miners, the residents built a town in the architectural style of a typical German town at that time, with amenities and institutions including a hospital, ballroom, school, skittle alley, theatre and sport-hall.
The town started to decline after World War II when the diamond-field slowly started to deplete. By the early 50’s, the area was in decline and was ultimately abandoned in 1956. Since then the desert has started to reclaim the town. Sand has invaded most houses and filled up the interior of some rooms almost to the ceiling.
Kolmannskuppe is one of the most eerie places I have ever visited. Whenever I am in Namibia I get drawn back to this strange place fascinated by the way nature has taken over these colorful buildings.