Whether you are in town on business or staying in Windhoek accommodation in Windhoek for a few days, you don’t want to miss out on a chance to admire some of the city’s historic buildings. One of the most prominent of these is the Christuskirche, which holds pride of place in the middle of a traffic circle along Robert Mugabe Avenue.
The Story of the Christuskirche
Wherever Christian folk have settled around the world, they have carried their faith with them, and the 1890 German settlers in Namibia were no different. During 1896, Pastor Heinrich Siebe founded the Lutheran congregation of Windhoek and had enough members to consider building a church within a year.
The ongoing wars with the local Khoi, Nama and Herero folks put his plans on hold until 1900 when Gottlieb Redecker started working on a design for the building. Construction only began in earnest 7 years later, when the cornerstone was laid, and the church was consecrated 3 years later.
Architecture of the Building
The Christuskirche is a beautiful example of the ornate German neo-Romanic/art nouveau architecture of the time. It is designed around the idea of a rectangular basilica with a 24m spire, rounded end and 2 aisles.
The walls are made of quartz sandstone brought in from the Avis Dam area, and the portal is crafted from Italian Carrara marble. A part of the roof and the bronze bells were imported from Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm II donated the stained lead glass windows in the sanctuary.
Likewise, the German community of Windhoek contributed immensely to the project, donating further stained windows, the altar bible, the altarpiece and decorative plaques for the building.
Bringing History Alive
This grand old building is still in use today, with a German service taking place on Sundays at 10am.
The Christuskirche was declared a national monument on 29 November 1974. Over the years it has undergone extensive improvements to the floors, pews, acoustics, lighting and roof.
Despite these adjustments, the Christuskirche retains its old-world character and is a worthy attraction to visit during your stay in Windhoek. It is located close to the Tintenpalast, Alte Fest, National Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens, so is easily combined with a day of sightseeing in the city.
Making the Most of Windhoek
Don’t breeze through Windhoek on your way to the greener pastures of Etosha National Park, Fish River Canyon or other impressive Namibian attractions. Rather discover what this interesting city has to offer by booking a few nights in Windhoek accommodation as part of your travels.