What is Swakopmund history?


What is Swakopmund history?

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  1. The Schutztruppe captain Curt von François founded Swakopmund in 1892 as a competitor to nearby Walvis Bay, which remained under British control even after the rest of present-day Namibia was declared a German Protectorate in 1884.
    The first settlers were 120 German soldiers and 40 civilians who excavated caves on the beach as protection from the harsh weather prior the constructing the Alte Kaserne (Old Barracks) in late 1892. A breakwater, later known as the Mole, was built in 1898, but it silted up within a few years, and was replaced by a wooden jetty in 1904.
    Swakopmund was granted municipal status in 1909. Six years later, however, during World War I, when South African forces occupied German Southwest Africa, all harbour facilities were transferred from Swakopmund to the more inherently suitable Walvis Bay, which was already controlled by South Africa. The town received an economic boost in 1976 with the controversial opening of the world’s largest opencast uranium mine at Rössing, 60 km (36 miles) inland, and it has also benefited greatly from the post-apartheid tourist boom. The population today stands at around 36,000.
    Swakopmund retains much of its German character and continental atmosphere – local history is well-covered at the Swakopmund Museum. There’s a good sprinkling of houses built in the Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) style so popular in Germany at the turn of the last century, many of which merit a closer look. Other attractions include the Kristall Galerie and the Living Desert Snake Park, both of which pay homage to local features of the area.

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