Discover a hint of history and so much culture at the Christuskirche in Windhoek
Windhoek is a unique medley of colonial buildings, bustling local markets, and modern day architecture with much to see and do.
You’ll discover many historic and cultural sites when you visit Windhoek, here’s why The Christuskirche stands out as one of the top places to see while you’re in town.
The Christuskirche Has an Interesting History
Gottlieb Redecker, the engineer behind the Tintenpalast and national assembly building, designed the Christuskirche building in 1900.
However, the history of this iconic place of worship stretches back a little further than these landmark events, to 1896. At that time, Pastor Heinrich Siebe was the only Lutheran minister in the area.
He gathered a congregation of around 300 members within his first year but soon became frustrated with the locals’ lack of enthusiasm for attending church services.
Pastor Sieve longed for a church that might serve as a cultural centre for his community, a ‘monument outlasting centuries’, and a powerful symbol of Protestantism, but Redecker’s plans were initially rejected.
In 1900, Pastor Wilhelm Anz arrived to replace Sieve and took up the plea for a church to give the local congregation a sense of place. However, war erupted between the German colony and local tribesmen, followed by an outbreak of rinderpest, and a severe drought.
Once the situation settled, the Mother church was eager to create a symbol of peace in Windhoek and asked Redecker to re-submit his plans.
The German government donated the land where the Christuskirche stands today, and the foundation stones were set in place during 1907. At the time, this was the biggest and most expensive church construction project among the German colonies.
Construction ended in 1910, making it the oldest Evangelical Lutheran church in Namibia. It was visible from almost everywhere in the city, standing as testament to German domination and national pride.
In 1974, the Christuskirche was declared a national monument.
It’s a Photographer’s Delight
The Christuskirche is a testament to early German engineering, and an excellent example of the neo-Romanesque style with a hint of Art Noveau and Gothic Revival architecture for good measure.
It’s built in the shape of a Latin cross and faces east. When viewed from the correct angle in silhouette it’s said to resemble a hand held up in a gesture of peace.
The walls of the Christuskirche comprise local quartz sandstone mined near the site of Avis Dam, while the entrance features six pillars of Carrera marble imported from Italy. The clock and roof tower were made in Germany, and a benefactor donated the ornate plaques, the altarpiece, and the altar bible.
The 24m-high spire is an impressive sight amongst the city buildings and the church features many beautifully ornate stained glass windows, donated by Emperor Wilhelm II.
The church has three large bells inscribed with the words, Glory to God in the highest, Peace on earth, and Goodwill Towards Men, manufactured by Franz Schilling.
Inside, you’ll find a large bronze plaque bearing the names of German citizens killed during the Nama and Herero uprisings that delayed the construction of the church.
It’s Perfectly Located
The Christuskirche dominates the traffic island on Robert Mugabe Avenue where it meets Fidel Castro Street. It’s easy to find Robert Mugabe Avenue from Sam Nujoma Drive via the B1.
You can visit the Christuskirche under your own steam, attend a church service there on Sunday, or explore it as part of a guided Windhoek city tour.
The Christuskirche is close to several of Windhoek’s top attractions, namely:
- Alte Fest
- The Independence Museum
- Old Windhoek Prison
- Owela Museum
- Parliament building
- The National Art Gallery
- Windhoek Botanical Gardens
- Zoo Park
You can also access some of Namibia’s best restaurants like Stratos and the Skybar from this area, or pop into Cramer ice Cream for a refreshing treat.
There’s no shortage of accommodation options in Windhoek including tall swish hotels, self-catering apartments, B&Bs, and campsites. Arebbusch Travel Lodge is the only rest camp in Windhoek, offering a wide range of accommodation with easy access to the city and great dining options.
The Best Way to Explore Windhoek
Windhoek is a delight for every kind of traveller and often the first stop for visitors to the country. If you want to enjoy the full Namibian experience, it’s best to spend a few days in the capital catching up on the sights before venturing further afield.
Arebbusch Travel Lodge offers the perfect blend of easy access to both the city, major highways, and airports.
Browse our blog for more information on the exciting activities and sights that await during your trip to Namibia and get in touch to arrange your dream holiday at Arebbusch Travel Lodge.
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.