Anyone who has been to Windhoek will recognise this iconic building. It stands in pride of place on a gentle rise just off the main street in the city.
An evangelical pastor, Pastor Heinrich Siebe, founded the Evangelical Lutheran congregation in Windhoek on 20th January 1896. Less than a year later, there were enough members of his following to justify the construction of a church for themselves. 'The Christus Kirche (Christ's Church) in Windhoek, South West Africa, was officially consecrated on 16th October 1910 and is the oldest Evangelical Lutheran church in Namibia.
The Christus Kirche was designed by Gottlieb Redecker, a German government architect, who drew up the first designs in 1900 and 1901. The final plans weren't completed until 1906 as there was the Herero and Nama uprisings against German colonial rule to deal with first. The stone-laying ceremony took place on 11th August 1907.
This is a beautiful church, inside and out. It is based on the idea of a basilica, which is a rectangular church with a rounded end and 2 aisles. The walls have been constructed from Windhoek sandstone and the portal is of Italian Carrarian marble, features that complement the neo-Romanic style, combined with an art nouveau influence.
Specialist German firms built the roof construction for the vault, the bronze bells and the stained-glass windows. Further donations were made for other stained-glass windows, the alter bible, the altarpiece and various plaques.
The Christus Kirche underwent extensive renovations in 1967 to address the poor acoustics and inadequate renovation. In 1971 the roof was re-tiled and outer natural stonework cleaned. The floor was covered in terrazo and the oak pews were revarnished. The entire building was rewired and a chandelier and other lights installed. The standard of the acoustics was once again improved and other 'angelical' improvements were made to the altar and font features.
The Christus Kirche is situated in Robert Mugabe Avenue, Windhoek in front of the Government buildings. It was proclaimed a national monument on 29th November 1974.
Critiques | Translate
npecanhuk (72112) 2011-11-19 7:25
Lovely small church!
Truly attractive picture!
Sharpness, exposure, chosen pov, colors, horizonta format, contrasts and composition are all excellent and really pleased me!
TFS - congrats,
adores (42369) 2011-11-19 8:23
A really interesting architecture and a very nice composition, with the palm tree on the right side. The sky is really great, with those clouds that seem like rays coming from the church. Very good colours and sharpness!
jadesgran (5377) 2011-11-19 8:40
This is a real `postcard`shot.I love it!An attractive church, which you have composed well against the beautiful blue sky.The palm tree on the right adds the finishing touch.
Best Wishes Gladys.
lousat (85070) 2011-11-19 8:52
Hi Rosemary,spectacular point of view and result,i like this beautiful sky that create a surrounding effect on the church,perfect light balance,sharpness and colors,and very interesting architechture too.Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
dta (73109) 2011-11-19 9:05
Hello Roemary ,
The POV and the perspective are superbly chosen . As the framing with the fine palm tree . Greta colrs and sharpness .
jaywalker (16101) 2011-11-19 10:49
Hi Rosemary, I have never been to Windhoek, however this is a building worth going to see, the structure is beautiful & you have photographed it superbly, excellent light & strong colours, TFS, kind regards Wilson.
LOOOK13 (19046) 2011-11-19 10:49
What a splendid light on this shot, and spectaculars colors.
Good effect with this effect.
mesutilgim (90788) 2011-11-19 10:51
Tolle Aufnahme dieser Kirche mit einer tollen Himmel als Hintergrund.
Danke schoen und ein schoenes Wochenende
Sonata11 (33717) 2011-11-19 12:18
this picture of the church and its architectural,surroundings is stunningly beautiful. Wonderful composition of this scenery with fantastic POV and DOF as well. Beautiful colors, sharpness, perfect balance and clarity of light aganist beautiful blue sky, a successful and fantastic made picture. I love it a lot. Awesome.
All the best and have a nice WE,
RhodieIke (11744) 2011-11-19 12:25
Magnificent Church, pin-sharp photo, Rosemary, you have excelled yourself here with this super photo.Love the sky the exotic palm ,and that Lego like roof, Well done, Cheers Iain.
bayno (18344) 2011-11-19 12:50
Hi Rosemary, What strikes at first glance is the gorgeous sky, nice Also contarst Between the beautiful colors, interesting architecture and super quality composition, have nice time, Valter
williewhistler (15839) 2011-11-19 12:51
Hello Rosemary,quite a difference from yesterdays post,the light on this iconic church shows off the architecture beautifully,and the clouds that appear to be radiating from the church bring great atmosphere.
I did a quick WS to straighten the verticals,hope you don`t mind.
Best regards Les.
tyro (23044) 2011-11-19 16:12
What a fascinating and informative note you have written and what a beautifully clear picture you have given us to illustrate it.
The colours, detail, exposure and sharpness are second to none.
Now, I note that two people have done workshops on your picture to straighten the verticals which, of course, "lean in" because you have tilted your camera and lens upwards in order to get the entire building within the frame, a natural thing to do. In my opinion, they are fine workshops but I think they have both gone just a little too far. You see, if we stand close to a high building and look up, the verticals do converge but our clever little brains compensate. After looking at lots of pictures like this and having discussed this matter with other people here, I think it is probably wise to try to correct the verticals to some extent but not completely, so that there is still some "lean in" towards the top. Leaving just a little "lean in" makes the picture look more believable.
What you really need Rosemary, of course, is one of these - a tilt/shift lens which you can buy here for a cool Ł1,400. Why not write a nice letter to Santa? - but do remember to leave him a mince pie and a glass of sherry - oh, and a carrot for Rudolph!
In fact, I did do a little messing about in Photoshop (Elements) using Image - Transform - Distort and trying to correct the verticals to some extent but I could do not better than either of the workshop pictures here already. Perhaps we should just accept it as it is - a very, very fine picture.
cargus (10025) 2011-11-19 22:53
An interesting architectural scene, sharpness exposure and natural colors are excellent!...well done.!!
delpeoples (56084) 2011-11-20 3:09
Hello dear Rosemary
I read your discussion with one of the two Johns about your thoughts on this photo being bland. Are you crazy? Has the Namibian heat finally got to you? :) This photo is anything but bland, in fact it's quite wonderful. I love how the clouds seem to be flying out of the church (makes me feel a little guilty for not going to Mass today ;) And I'll throw my oar in here and say that I absolutely love the lens distortion. It makes the photo even more interesting. And I haven't even gotten to the subject yet, which is wonderful and such a surprise to find in your country. It looks more at home in Germany! Fantastic colours, great sharpness and a well-chosen POV. I couldn't ask for more.
Thanks for sharing and enjoy your Sunday
timecapturer (49288) 2011-11-20 4:33
a wonderful composition this, the sky just seems to radiate outwards from the beautifully detailed church. Superb sharpness with such perfect detailing. The light management is flawless and it is a stunning presentation. Excellent!
Wishing you a peaceful Sunday - Brian.
rodgerg (55767) 2011-11-20 10:08
Excellent presentation of this charming church with a framing very efficience. The elements of the architectur arise very well in the blue of the beautiful sky. The palmtree on the right give a graphic balalnce with the church.
bema (26409) 2011-11-20 10:12
seems there are may german roots in this long-gone historic site of "german-southwest-africa"..long time ago, but the relicts or the building is is still a a vey nice one.. and you have profed this in your splendid capture!!
thanks for sharing, see you around, cheers Bernd
dkmurphys (54499) 2011-11-20 12:01
Perfect POV for a beautiful postcard. Interesting architecture, well catch scene.
Have a good night.
SteveH (6247) 2011-11-20 18:01
Hi Rosemary, The various comments on the lens distortion in this image cause me to think back to an image of mine (by coincidence also a church) which received similar attention. I quite like a bit of distortion and having a look at the WS confirms, to me at least, that it can add something to an image, rather than being something needing correction. cheers, Steve
sevy (15367) 2011-11-20 23:51
A lot of dynamism on this shot with the below point of view, the perspective effect induced and the long clouds pushing the look inside the picture.
In more, the golden tones of the stones giving a nive contrast with the blue sky.
Longroute (19396) 2011-11-21 1:53
I think to remember having already seen this outstanding church long ago in TE and I remember having thought: "Such a northern style European church in Namibia! How odd!" But your note explains it well...
Your version has really a very strong visual impact: for the excellent clarity, the fine light and for that gorgeous blue sky with converging clouds which make the red tiles of the roof stand out wonderfully. Thanks to the fine sharpness and the various "angles" in the architecture the image has a strong 3D appearance. So pleasant to see.
subhendu_bagchi (25991) 2011-11-21 6:52
what a catch! You paid full justice with this beautiful church and captured it really well. Love the lower POV. Like the textures of the clouds in the sky. Excellent composition with the palm tree at right. Superb colours/ sharpness and depth. Beautiful one. Tfs.
vasilpro (41187) 2011-11-21 10:02
Wonderful composition, beautiful sky, interesting architecture, excellent POV and perspective, very good clarity, sharpness and contrast, lovely light and vivid colors, TfS!
Warm regards, Vasilis.
PS. Thank you for your criticism in my "St.Fanourios" photo and for adding to your favorites.
csabagaba (6630) 2011-11-22 3:32
A Little Hans Gothic Africa. Well ... I thought this would not :-) This wonderful image, the clouds, as if broadcast from the church. In rare happy moment.
Just now had time to write criticism, I think the WAS, you looked at it. Megróbálam a little change of perspective. This picture is very good, you can be proud of it.
Have a nice day.
stevesaba (8135) 2011-11-22 19:42
Wow! This one is fabulous. Very dramatic with that sky, and the colors are just perfect. Very appealing and flawlessly done. Warm regards,
lpi (4857) 2011-11-23 10:10
cette église est trčs jolie, j'aime le point de vue et la lumičre.
Sympa le palmier juste devant l'église!
leo61 (0) 2011-11-23 11:07
Some wideangle distortions,but great colors and contrast.
Good composition with this palmtree.
Angshu (56740) 2011-11-24 6:09
I wonder which leans you used here, but I think it was sufficiently wide to create the 'falling lines' effect...the walls seem to converge at an infinitisimal distance somewhere in the sky. I like that effect with the radiating clouds echoing the effect. Fine sharpness & colours & a great note!
jmdias (60030) 2011-11-29 1:10
a very beautiful image. I liked the lower pov and the framing that included the palm tree. the architecture is beautiful and I liked the shapes and texture of this church, the clouds making diagonals are fabulous here too. nice job. tfs.
InasiaJones (31562) 2011-12-10 16:24
This is completely impossible!...
After I've uploaded my latest photo from the same church, I clicked on the city name Windhoeck, appearing on the top of my photo, in order to see if there was other version of this church.
So I stumbled on your version, only to find out that we were there on the same day!... How improbable is this?!
You live there, so you could have shot it in any given days, and on my side, I was spending one day in Windhoek, after dropping my girlfriend at the airport, before returning towards Swakopmund, as I was spending 5 more days alone.
We photographed this church from two different angles, according to the light orientation. Your version is taken closer to the building , therefore amplifying the height and offering an impression of "mightier" elevation.
Maybe we pass each other in the streets of the city without knowing it...
vmukherjee (612) 2011-12-12 23:59
Great shot! The pattern of the sky and the house, vibrant colours, all play with each other to make this a charming scene. Thanks for sharing.
sacavem (18620) 2011-12-21 13:51
Very grateful for his words, comment and congratulations on my 5th year in TE...
A very spectacular old architectural photo with vivid colours and attractive details, the composition is wonderful.
mafegan (8624) 2012-01-03 16:19
The distortion of the wide angle is appealing especially as it seems to be drawing in the soft clouds. Beautiful strong colours, sharp and perfect light. I was surprised to see such a fine church in Namibia. Cheers and happy 2012, Marlene
adidas5nb (5743) 2012-07-28 23:33
never expected a pic from namibia to be like this. thanks for showing the other side of the country.beautiful image n church.... love the linear clods diverging from the center of the church.