A town grew around the mining area. Soon, the German government at the time built a hospital and the town thrived with a power station, a school, a ballroom and activity center and other amenities.
However, the diamond field was virtually exhausted within 10 years and after the First World War people began to move on. The entire town was abandoned by 1954.
And the sand took over.
The ghost town of Kolmanskop.
There's a N$65 ($7.00) per person entry fee. The area is owned and managed by Namdeb, a conglomeration between The Republic of Namibia and DeBeers Diamond Corp. There is still a lot of mining done in the area and Kolmanskop is a regulated part of the restricted mining area.
The moving sands of the desert take over the old buildings.
You're allowed into almost all of the buildings. Most are in original condition, left to decay on their own over time. Most are also totally unsafe and of course the signs say you enter at your own risk. Glad they let people be responsible for themselves! Using your own good judgement, it's possible to explore most areas, although some of the floor boards and stairs we didn't trust.