10 Facts: Windhoek
Windhoek is the biggest city in Namibia (one of the countries neighbouring South Africa). I’ve never been to Namibia, but I would like to visit this fascinating country. This city has been selected as the 10 facts topic for today.
Here are some facts about Windhoek:
- The first settlement of the area occurred in 1840 by Jonker Afrikaner who built his first house next to present South African High Commission (previously Berg hotel). For a long time Windhoek was a small settlement abandoned from time to time during Nama-Herero wars. Windhoek was officially founded in 1890 when the Germans built a fort and started to occupy the area permanently.
- Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia and has an estimated population of about 300,000 people.
- The German colonial era came to an end during World War I when South African troops occupied Windhoek in May 1915 on behalf of the British Empire.
- Alte Feste (German for “Old Fortress”) was built in 1890 and today houses the National Museum in Windhoek.
- Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport, situated 45 kilometres outside Windhoek, handles well over 400,000 passengers a year. It has 1 runway without capacity limitations.
- Virtually every Namibian national enterprise has its headquarters in Windhoek.
- Windhoek is one of the world’s major trade centers for Karakul sheep skins.
- The first Jacaranda trees were planted in Windhoek in 1917.
- The Avis dam near Windhoek was constructed in 1930.
- The city of Windhoek is traditionally known by two names: Ai-Gams, from the Nama people, which literally refers to the hot springs that were once part of Windhoek, while the second name, Otjomuise, meaning a place of steam, was given by the Herero people. Both traditional names reference the hot springs.
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