About 30 km’s from Walvis Bay, adjacent to the the dune belt and lying in the Kuiseb River valley is Rooibank. Named for the red granite outcrop and red dunes this small scattering of buildings and a pumping station is not much more than a dot on a map. This is the home of the Topnaar people descendants of Khoekhoe Strandlopers (beach walkers).
Without doubt, the Topnaars are among the oldest inhabitants of Namibia. They trace their origins back before 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck established a European settlement on the Southern African soil. Records from 1677 recount a barter trade system between Topnaars and European sailors, which suggest that the Topnaars were among the first traders in Namibia. Beef, lamb, milk, !Nara plants and fresh water were exchanged for groceries, clothes and weapons. The bulk of their subsistence activities is the recovery of !Nara seeds and some goat herding.
Early missionaries to South West Africa were keen to convert the Topnaar people and one of the Rhenish missionaries translated the bible into their language and started the first mission station in Rooibank
About 2 km’s from Rooibank, surrounded by barren gravel plains the church pictured here stands in isolation. Built in 1969 and assailed by the harsh climate, it was difficult to decide whether or not the building was still in use.
Here is a larger version
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2014. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
Wahclellaspirit (4107) 2014-02-07 9:16
What I find interesting in this image is the isolation, but as well the weathered appearance of the wood on the Chapel itself. I would have liked to have seen the wood on the door up close as the hues and textures really stand out from the distance.
A great scene depicting the large expansive landscape of Africa in a single dwelling.
Was it not along this coastline that in the 1800's there were many shipwrecks laden across the sands of the coastline?
chrislo (4097) 2014-02-07 9:41
What a beautiful sight is this quaint church rising out of the sand. Somehow it looks beautifully cared as shown by this sharp, nicely angled shot. The wide sandy environment gives a feeling of remoteness. I like the simplicity of this capture and the pastel colours of the sand and the sky. A good interesting note, too. Well done.
Noel_Byrne (33710) 2014-02-07 9:42
This little church looks very defiant here in this harsh landscape, its steeple stands out sharply against the sky and its yellow walls, while similar to the color of the sands, still make a brave statement. Its such an unusual sight for me to see buildings constructed in sand, especially something like a church. A beautiful angle you have chosen to shoot this gives the building lots of character and life. I hope it survives its no doubt arduous battle with the elements. When I see what the weather did to the car in the riverbed, I can begin to imagine what it will do to wooden walls.
Thanks as always
gildasjan (43824) 2014-02-07 10:21
cette chapelle semble sortie de nulle-part et le jaunne apporte la bonne touche à cette image.
dta (82896) 2014-02-07 10:32
Hello Rosemary ,
A fine capture of this pretty little church , between pink sand and a beautiful cloudy sky .
mesutilgim (97694) 2014-02-07 10:43
Interesting entry at your pages. A simple (but beautiful) wooden church midst of sand dunes !
Very good pov and layout, interesting notes.
TFS and have a nice weekend
williewhistler (16496) 2014-02-07 11:29
the interesting shape of the church isolated amongst the dunes makes a fascinating photograph.
Your composition with such good use of the vertical corners seems to accentuate he vastness of the area.
A candidate for mono treatment perhaps?
Here in Chillaton we`ve escaped the worst of the storms so far,there are more promised for the week end...
Warm regards Les.
jemaflor (103577) 2014-02-07 11:46
Nice small church, well presented, good angle, interesting post, perfect light management.
macjake (73057) 2014-02-07 12:16
very interesting story, very interesting structure.
look a the wood on the end of the building, it looks....almost creepy. Not sure if creepy is the right word, but it gives off a strange vibe and mood, don't you think?
It just seems as if that wood doesn't belong on the building, but it makes for cool photography.
the top reminds me of a 'witch hat' :)
the building also seems to be misplaced, as it if were just 'put there' by mistake or accident. very isolated.
great post for TE
carlo62 (55628) 2014-02-07 14:07
una bella condivisione, il cielo non è molto bello, ma la foto è ottima, questa chiesa, con i suoi colori, si staglia molto bene sul terreno.
Bella prospettiva, molte le diagonali che si susseguono nel quadro.
Gigidusud (21247) 2014-02-07 14:49
Truly an original landscape! Beautiful chapel in the middle of the desert, the colors contrast is splendid. I like a lot!
Have a nice Week-end.
icesurfer (574) 2014-02-07 15:25
You chose a very original POV for this church, but one that makes the most of the contrast between the yellow and wooden structure. The fence gracefully continues the prospectic effect to the horizon, while the sand and the clouds provide the best background for the composition.
tyro (26142) 2014-02-07 19:15
You've given us a wonderfully interesting note here but, oh, how I wish you could give some more map links - that would be absolutely fabulous, especially in such remote areas as this! I've managed to track down Rooibank to here but, despite searching, I've been unable to find this little church!
A beautifully depicted scene with the little church, though in poor condition, perfectly set against a lovely sky in its remote surroundings. Your composition is excellent too with the diagonal line of the half buried fence making a fine diagonal in the frame.
Gorgeous light and colours, fine composition and your usual exqusite detals and sharpness.
Oh, how I would love to visit these places which you show! I'm so jealous!
jjcordier (79297) 2014-02-07 22:48
Cette église semble sortie de nulle part et on se demande d'où peuvent venir les fidèles! Jolie composition pour la mettre superbement en image.
papagolf21 (110230) 2014-02-08 1:16
Bonjour, chère Rosemary,
Des images presque surnaturelles à travers vos compositions, et c'est pour cela que nous aimons vos présentations.
Cette petite église reposant sur du sable à l'infini ne manque pas de charme.
J'apprécie grandement cette réalisation.
Romano46 (18472) 2014-02-08 1:52
il primo impatto è stato piacevolissimo soprattutto per la scelta dell'ottica utilizzata e del particolare POV che hai scelto.
La chiesa si distende piacevolmente nel paesaggio che la circonda e colpisce anche la sua presenza in un paesaggio in gran parte desertico.
Una bella cattura, composta molto bene e ripresa con altrettanta cura.
Ciao e buon fine settimana
annjackman (21903) 2014-02-08 3:10
This is a very quaint church in the harsh desert landscape. It looks in good repair and the wall looks freshly painted. Beautifully positioned in the frame with lovely exposure and natural colours.
I like this very much.
Kind Regards, Ann
timecapturer (49288) 2014-02-08 3:28
this shot is a real delight. Composed superbly as is your execution, with enticing diagonals and immaculate detail. I love the sense of isolation and yet welcoming presence of this amazing little church. Beautiful imagery! Love it!
Have a great weekend - B.
dkmurphys (65106) 2014-02-08 3:53
Superb capture of this unusual location of the church. It looks weird but beautiful. Well taken, enjoy a nice weekend.
Subhogen (4067) 2014-02-08 4:45
What a place to built a church, it is absolutely in the middle of nowhere. Its a shame that the church does not look in good shape. This church looks exactly like the one they showed in the Tarantino movie 'Kill Bill' where the bride was assaulted :-) Truly unique place and unique church. Love the bright ochre colour of the church wall starkly standing out amidst the dull surroundings. Thanks for sharing a fine photo.
snunney (107373) 2014-02-08 5:00
One imagines that seen at some distance this church more or less merges into the landscape. Your point of view shows the simple but charming architecture to good effect and sets it firmly in context. I like the framing offered by the fence, which introduces an interesting graphical element into the scene. The image is pleasantly lit and has good colours and sharpness.
marabu61 (11331) 2014-02-08 5:14
Seing this isolated church, sitting in the sand, one wonders why on earth somebody would build a church here. It is a great scene that conveys to me the wastness and the emptiness of much of the Namibian landscape.
Am I right in supposing that the ! in your description of the !Nama fruit refers to the clicking sound that is so typical for many of the local languages in Namibia and South Africa? I always wondered how this would be written.
have a great weekend
HimalAnda (10671) 2014-02-08 7:02
This church lost in the sands is quite amazing. It seems to be abandonned, but the yellow painting on the wall seems to be quite recent.
Nicou (151918) 2014-02-09 2:41
quelle iamge sur le sable sueprbe quel forme la tour toute pointue et affûtée fantastique et cette palissade de bois ce jaune quel ensemble merveilleux.
Bravo et amitié
subhendu_bagchi (26089) 2014-02-09 4:23
wow, what a view. I admire your chosen POV, which gives a nice sense of depth. Great perspective. Nicely presented with perfect light and good colours. Very well done. Tfs.
Kamilutka (8107) 2014-02-09 7:35
it is true that this church looks very isolated. From one can see there is only some fragile fence and desert right up to horizon.
Very interesting place and well presented.
The chosen POV allowed to take this photo from a proper angle. Nice and saturated colors and perfect sharpness.
Thanks for sharing and enjoy your evening
Royaldevon (43865) 2014-02-09 15:15
This is a curious mixture of materials for a church, yet it is obviously a religious building, characterised by the shape of the windows and the tower, complete with witch's hat.
My immediate impression was that it was situated on a beach but it soon becomes obvious, when looking at the surrounding terrain, that the entire region was coloured in a similar way.
It seems like a cloudy day, unusual for your posts, yet you have captured the building with excellent clarity and fine colours.
My instinct is that this church is no longer used for the roof of the tower looks as if it needs repair and the fence is partially submerged with sand. Usually people take greater care of religious building when they are used regularly for services.
My warm regards,
sevy (58) 2014-02-10 0:38
This photo subject is very interesting and I like your choice of point of view and composition, giving a kind of perspective along a small diagonale line.
A matter of personnal taste, I would have pushed a bit the post-processing: mainly to darken the sky and get a more dramatic effect. But I understand your choice of natural light.
RhodieIke (11744) 2014-02-10 4:08
Love this, the yellow of the church is super, and contrast great against the wood, tin and sand.
Great Pov, well managed light, splendid note.
Angshu (56760) 2014-02-12 20:32
Hello dear Rosemary
I learnt something new reading your note...
I had read about these wooden churches, which were primarily built in Norway and some in Poland...few survive in Europe today notably in these 2 countries.
The church here looks very lonely indeed...the yellow colour contrasting with the gloomy sky well.
adores (46415) 2014-03-05 17:15
It seems really isolated, but it's still a nice and eye catching church.Hope it's not too threathened by the sand!
I like the composition with the fences.