Three New Heritage Sites Proclaimed

THE National Heritage Council has de-proclaimed the Reiterdenkmal, and proclaimed three new sites as national monuments.

The new monuments are the King Iipumbu ya Tshilongo memorial site at Onatshiku in the Elim constituency, the Omandongo Mission in Oshikoto, and House Gluumlck Auf at Luumlderitz.

National Museum of Namibia head, who is also the chairperson of the National Heritage Council (NHC), Ester Moombola-Goagoses, yesterday said the decision for the new proclamations was done through a process of nomination by members of the public, with the nominations later approved by the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture, Jerry Ekandjo.

She said the Reiterdenkmal (equestrian statue), which was removed from its original site in Windhoek in December last year, will remain in the courtyard of the Alte Feste Museum as a historical object.

In a public notice in the media, the NHC says the Reiterdenkmal “is viewed to have lost its monumental significance” after the country’s independence in 1990 and no longer has any significance in a liberated Namibia.

According to the council, the King Iipumbu ya Tshilongo memorial site at Natshuku in the Omusati region housed the palace of King Iipumbu ya Tshilongo of Uukwambi. During the king’s reign, his palace was bombed and destroyed by the South African military in 1932.

The king of Ondonga allowed the first Finnish missionaries to settle at the Omandongo Mission, located in the Onayena constituency in the Oshikoto region, when they arrived to bring Christianity to northern Namibia in 1870. The site was also used to teach local communities about God and how to read, write and count.

The Omandongo Mission is the second place connected to missionary activities in northern Namibia to be proclaimed as a national heritage site.

The first site to be proclaimed as a national monument, in 1992, was the Nakambale Mission house, church and cemetery at Olukonda, south-east of Ondangwa. A Finnish missionary, Reverend Martti Rautanen, set up a mission station at Olukonda in the 1870s and lived there until his death in 1926. Rautanen’s work led to the establishment of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, which is today one of Namibia’s main churches.

House Gluumlck Auf was built between 1907 and 1908 for Dr Karl Reinshapen, a lawyer who worked in the diamond industry at the time of the diamond rush at Luumlderitz.

According to the NHC the house is a typical example of the historical buildings erected at Luumlderitz during the economic boom that followed on the discovery of diamonds around the town.

“The unique architectural character of Luumlderitz as whole and [House] Gluumlck Auf’s association with the diamond industry, an important aspect of Luumlderitz’s heritage, are important contributing factors to its heritage significance,” the NCH stated in its announcement of the proclamation of new national heritage sites. “The significance of the site is further supported by its group value as an intrinsic component of the historical core of Luumlderitz.”

Several other buildings at Luumlderitz that also date from the early 1900s are already proclaimed national monuments.

According to cultural historian Andreas Vogt’s book ‘National Monuments in Namibia’, the national monuments at the southern coastal town include the Deutsche Afrika Bank building, which was erected in 1907, the Krabbenhoumlft amp Lampe building, dating from 1909, Kreplin House, which was built for the first mayor of Luumlderitz, diamond company owner Emil Kreplin, in 1909, the Goerke House or Magistrate’s Residence, also built in 1909, and the Luumlderitz railway station building, dating from 1914.

Source : The Namibian