Kolmanskop—Where Sand and Rust Consume
On the searing sands of the Namib Desert, near the windswept coast of southern Namibia, lie the empty ruins of a town that was inhabited for less than 50 years—Kolmanskop.
When diamonds were discovered here in 1908, prospectors, mining magnates, and a variety of shady characters soon swooped in like vultures. Before long, Kolmanskop was a thriving town, complete with grand colonial-German houses, a post office, and its own hotel. Kolmanskop even sported a two-story casino, with theater and bowling alley—luxuries that made life more pleasant in the remote Namib Desert.
But the very reason for Kolmanskop’s existence led to its demise. The mines were quickly depleted of precious stones of profitable size and quality. Prospectors were soon lured away as bigger and better diamonds were discovered elsewhere. In addition, the early 1900’s saw a slump in the diamond market. Gradually the town’s life ebbed away until finally, by 1956, Kolmanskop was abandoned.
Today, unused machinery lies rusting under the harsh African sun—a legacy of man’s short-lived attempts to wrest wealth from the earth. Kolmanskop thus serves as a graphic reminder of the vanity of pursuing earthly riches. Said Jesus: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes.”—Matthew 6:20.