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Windhoek History, Namibia

Windhoek is the capital and the largest city of the African Republic of Namibia. Like most of its neighboring cities and countries. It has bore witness to a long history of being under European rule.  In fact, it was once the capital of the German South-West Africa.

Windhoek is situated in the Khomas Region and is home to approximately 230,000 people. It is a center of trading, where its primary product and source of income are sheepskin. The area of Windhoek has been home to several hot springs and that is why it has attracted many settlers. As early as the mid-1800s, Captain Jan Jonker Afrikaner decided to stay near one of those main hot springs. He built a stone church that could house 500 people.

In the 1840’s, two Rhenish Missionaries settled in the area followed by their Wesleyan counterparts. This led to the building of garden and certain fixtures yet it was easily destroyed by the almost never-ending war between the tribes of Nama and Herero. Despite the destruction of the town, the remaining parts of it continued until in June 1885 when a Swiss botanist found only jackals and starving guinea fowl amongst neglected fruit trees. 

The late 1800’s saw the rise of European rule in African soils. The British acquired Walvis Bay and incorporated it into the Cape of Good Hope in 1884. However, it was the request of the merchants from Lüderitzbucht that resulted in the declaration of a German protectorate over German West Africa in 1884. The German government sent a protective corps, called the Schutztruppe under Major Curt von François, to maintain order in the area. Von Francois stationed his garrison in between the warring tribes to act as buffer.

During the 1900’s, the German rule persisted and the city thrived in abundance and prosperity. The Germans only lost control of Windhoek after the World War where the South African troops took over the land. This continued until Namibia gained its independence in 1990. It saw an accelerated growth and development by becoming the seat of the first, democratically elected government of the Republic of Namibia, headed by the president, Sam Nujoma. Currently, this African city has thrived because of its liberal mindset due to its Democratic government. It has been witness to a continuous rise in its economy as well as an unbelievable influx of guests both locals and foreigners alike. 

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