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Deutsche Afrika Bank Building

Luderitz | Namibia

The Deutsche Afrika Bank Building was the first bank in Lüderitz. It stands on one of the oldest streets in the town, the historic and charismatic Bismarck Street. The bank originated from a division of the Damara and Namaqua Trading Company. The Official Gazette in which the building was proclaimed offered:

'This building, which was erected in 1907 by A Bause, a firm of building contractors, is an excellent example of German Colonial architecture at the beginning of the 20th century'.

The design of the corner tower is a common feature, found on a number of buildings built in both Swakopmund and Windhoek. Property in Germany at the time were also characterized by a slightly uneven gable to the right side of the building.

The workers in the nearby diamond fields in Kolmanskop were paid through a sliding window. Diamonds were secured in an enormous strongroom, still in evidence today. The wrought iron security bars on the downstairs windows are still in good condition, having battled successfully against the coastal elements for many a decade.

After WW1 had ended, the Deutsche Afrika Bank was liquidated. In 1922 it was taken over by the National Bank of South Africa Ltd and by Barclays Bank in 1926. From 1958, Mr WF Lubowski became the owner of the building. His son was Anton Lubowski, one of Namibia's heroes of the liberation struggle.

The Deutsche Afrika Bank in Lüderitz is now a residential building and souvenir shop. It was officially proclaimed a national monument on 7th February 1980.

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