Kolmanskop is an abandoned diamond mining town located in Southern Namibia in the Namib Desert. It is about 10 kilometers East of Luderitz on the B4 highway.
Zacharias Lewala, a railroad worker, discovered the first diamond in 1908. Once word got out diamonds were in the area, Kolmanskop grew into a prosperous mining town. The wealthy residents designed and built the town with German architecture in mind. The buildings were large, lavish and decorated with color and style in mind.
The town’s residents prospered for years, but after World War I, their luck started to collapse. The mines were eventually stripped dry and depleted of their resources. Families had to move and find work elsewhere.
The records state the town was officially abandoned in 1954. Since its abandonment, the property has slowly been reclaimed by the desert elements. The buildings sit in various degrees of decay and are filled with different levels of sand; some as high as the ceiling.