Photographer's Note

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.

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Additional Photos by Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2806 W: 84 N: 6959] (31631)
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