ART Lost & Found … (No. 73)

Posted by on 8. Juli 2013

The villa, seen from Lüderitz ...


... the Flamingo stained glass window ...


... and a bathroom in purest Art Nouveau

I say so, because Namibia was a German Colony from 1884 to 1915, and this was the hightime of Art Nouveau in Deutsch-Südwestafrika (German Southwest-Africa), as the territory was called. Therefore every building was, quite naturally, planned in „Jugendstil“, the German variation of the European style Art Nouveau. There are still dozends of building in the towns of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Lüderitz, either in pure Art Nouveau or at least showing the typical facades. One of the most beautiful examples is the Goerke House on the Diamond Hill, overlooking the Atlantic harbour of Lüderitz. Between 1909 and 1910 the architect Otto Ertl built it for Lieutenant Hans Goerke, since then the villa changed owners a couple of times and today it is a museum (beware: it’s open one hour per day only!) with the very exclusivle granted possibility to sleep there overnight. It’s a huge house, with a bright blue roof, a sun dial, a tower and many balconies. Inside you see impressionist frescoes, lots of carved decorations in dark wood, casette walls, wide staircases whose rails are perfect Art Nouveau and incredibly beautiful stained glass windows, depicting flamingoes, the favourite bird of Lieutenant Goerke. The furniture is not original, but well copied in the same material – heavy German oak. Don’t miss the villa, when you travel in Namibia.

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