Kolmannskuppe is a Ghost Town in southern Namibia, a few kilometres inland from the port of Lüderitz.
It was a small mining village and is now a popular tourist destination run by the diamond-mining company NAMDEB.
The town was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement - Kolmannskuppe in German and, the generally used name, Kolmanskop, in Afrikaans.
The town developed after the discovery of diamonds in the area in 1908 - which led to a "Diamond Rush".
The rush lead to the establishment of a busy little German-style village, served by a general dealer, butchery, bakery, furniture factory, soda-water and lemonade plant, daily ice and milk deliveries, 4 skittle alleys, a public playground and swimming pool, a grand community centre complex complete with a theatre and an orchestra that played at tea dances, until well after the sun had set.
The discovery of diamonds saw the amazing sight of lines of men, crawling through the desert by the light of a full moon, sifting the sand beneath them for diamonds.
Subsequently, the German authorities declared the land 'forbidden territory' or Sperrgebiet, awarding the Deutsche Diamanten Gesellschaft (DDG) the sole prospecting rights.
The town declined after World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954.
The geological forces of the desert mean that tourists now walk through houses knee-deep in sand.
Kolmanskop is popular with photographers for images of the desert sands reclaiming this once-thriving town - it has also been used as a set for movies and TV series.
The top officials lived in grand style and, it seems, life was pretty good for all, except probably the labourers.
An old Bathtub makes an escape on a sea of sand in front of The Teacher's house.
There's no stopping the sand, slowly but surely it prevails.
One of the crumbling houses with a view over the Desert.
A garage close to the Mine Manager's house - I wonder what grand old Auto it once housed - now it shelters only sand.
Exposed bricks where the abrasive wind has worn away the plaster.
The Mine Manager's house.
In 1980, a number of buildings were restored and more followed with the advent of Namibia as a premier tourist destination.
More pics in my Picasa Album
Related Post: Colonial Architecture Of Lüderitz