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World's Most Mysterious Buildings

World's Most Mysterious Buildings: Kolmanskop Diamond Camp

Michael Toye, Professional Architecture and Landscape Photographer

Kolmanskop Diamond Camp, Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Local Bushmen considered Namibia’s Skeleton Coast “The Land God Made in Anger,” while the Portuguese called it “The Gates of Hell.” Though the coast received its name because of beached whale bones that scattered its shores during the heyday of the whaling industry, today, skeletal remains of more than 1,000 fog-sacked ships and abandoned diamond camps earn it the title. Among the detritus being taken over by desert sands is Minenvewalter, the manager’s house at abandoned diamond mine Kolmanskop.

Mystery: Diamond miners purportedly haunt Minenvewalter; their ax-pick-punctured skulls were allegedly found here in the 1960s long after the colony departed.

Visit: Wilderness Safari’s Distinctive Namibia circuit includes lion and cheetah treks in the rusty dunes but also a scenic three-hour flight over the wreck-strewn Skeleton Coast. travelbeyond.com

—Adam H. Graham


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