Buried

You remember how I like my abandoned places, don’t you? Well, it’s been a while… so here’s a new one. An old one. Oh, you get the idea.

In the early years of the 20th Century, diamond fever hit Namibia.

The gem-rush led to the establishment of Kolmanskop: built to support the mining community, it even had a ballroom, theatre, casino and – apparently – the first tram system in Africa.

But after the First World War, diamond sales lost their sparkle and the town was gradually abandoned.

By the 1950s, it had become a ghost town; swallowed by the desert sands.

Judging by these photos, not even diamonds are forever….

Like most ghost towns, Kolmanskop is hugely interesting – because it’s empty. The thing about these places is that they show us our world in negative: by our absence, they show us the spaces we should be filling, the lives we should be inhabiting. They’re places that wouldn’t be there without our intervention… and without us, they’re fading away, just like their residents did.

One day, there’ll be nothing but sand, and dust, and the memories of houses lost to the desert; the ghosts of buildings with nothing to haunt them but air. In the meantime, it’s strikingly, sadly beautiful.

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