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SWAKOPMUND NAMIBIA HISTORY THE KASERNE: Built in 1904 by the 2nd Eisenbahnbaukompagnie, now serves as a youth hostel.



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Swakopmund Kaserne - a history

Built in 1904 by the 2nd Eisenbahnbaukompagnie, now serves as a youth hostel

Swakopmund Kaserne 1905

Swakopmund Kaserne 1905

Eisenbahnbaukompagnie 2nd


2nd Eisenbahnbaukompagnie

Eisenbahnbaukompagnie 2nd


2nd Eisenbahnbaukompagnie

German State Crest

Hamburg Crest

The Kaserne (barracks) standing on the corner of Bismarck Street and Anton Lubowski Avenue were designed and built in 1905 under the supervision of Lt. Heinsius, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Eisenbahnbaukompagnie (2nd Railroad Building Company) The regiment of military engineers that built the first (wooden) jetty. The entrance hall to the Kaserne has a painted frieze depicting the coats of arms of the various German states of the time.

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The Kaserne

National Monument



Crenelated Tower German State Crest The Soldier's Poem Memorial to Comrades who died German State Crest


The entrance hall to the Kaserne also has two plaques that were painted by the soldiers

The Poem: Explains that people tended to praise the soldiers for their deeds of battle against the Hereros and Hottentots, but the engineer soldiers stationed at the Kaserne say they will shout aloud that their strongest enemy was the Ocean, and that they won their battle against it and built the jetty.

The Memorial List: has the eight names of soldiers of the regiment who died while on this particular tour of duty. The deaths were due to dysentery and typhus. Today we can only imagine some of the difficulties that those Kaserne men experienced in their daily work. The conditions were often extremely dangerous and debilitating and people soon succumbed to sickness. Medicines for combating the illnesses of the tropics were very limited in those early days.


Following the Great War the Kaserne was converted and used as the German school in 1927 and was in operation until 1975. The building now serves as a youth hostel.


Acknowledgements and further reading:  A4,P1


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