We are in southern coast of Namibia, 25 km south of Lüderitz. Even though it often seems to be forgotten in the shadow of its counterpart Kolmanskop, also Elizabeth Bay was a lucrative diamond mining town. Diamonds were first discovered in the region around 1908. However, only in 1989 that the government of Namibia spent $53 million on the exploration and creation of a new diamond mine on the site.
Its decrepit buildings and machinery tell of a dark, greedy history: the city was inhabited for only 20 years, but it still boasted an immense wealth of diamonds. As a result, German miners flooded the town, building their own little Germany along the coast of Namibia.
A large entertainment hall and casino were built overlooking the ocean, and the town also housed monstrous machinery for desalinating ocean water, rows of housing for German miners, and large, overcrowded buildings for local workers.
While the German workers enjoyed proper housing, local miners were subjected to slave conditions: their housing and washrooms were all shared, and the buildings where they slept contained cot-size beds separated only by a small wall divider. About 20 beds ran along each side of the buildings and in some, rows were stacked on top of each other forcing more men into these terrible conditions. The doors to these “houses” were locked at night and their windows were small and high off the ground to discourage any workers from escaping overnight.
After a quick flash of success, the town closed in 1948. Then, on August 2, 1991, a new Elizabeth Bay mine was opened and is still in operation today, despite the town is considered a ghost town. The massive remains of the original still stand, weather-torn and ruined, but still impressive as they capture the endeavors of when the town was at its peak.
All images from Wikipedia