Windhoek (Afrikaans: ~ the windy corner) seems strangely un-African to most arriving travellers.
The tidy streets of the centre are lined with modern office and administrative buildings, interspersed with examples of Wilhelminian colonial architecture. German lettering and names in streets, shops and on billboards, on which, for example, Black Forest cake is offered, contribute to this alienation effect.
It is only in the last two decades that Windhoek, with its small-town feel, has allowed itself a touch of metropolis with new buildings such as the monstrously monumental Supreme Court. Classical sightseeings from a touristical perspective are rare, but as most intercontinental flights land in the mornings and/or take off in the evenings, the offer of the capital, for which half a day should be enough, fits seamlessly into almost any travel planning. The centre at both sides of the Independence Avenue can be easily explored on foot. The Post Street Mall was redesigned into a pedestrian zone, in which, beside cafés, restaurants, boutiques and souvenir shops, also numerous ambulant souvenir shops are located. To buy provisions etc. we recommend the supermarket “Shoprite” centrally located on Independance Avenue or the “Pick n Pay” branch in the Wernhill Park shopping centre at the end of the Post Street Mall.
Windhoek’s landmarks are the “Alte Feste”, which houses the National Museum, and the Lutheran Christuskirche, completed in 1910. The Equestrian Monument, which belonged to the ensemble until 2009, has been moved to make way for the Independence Memorial Museum, another architectural monstrosity that was mocked as a national coffee machine in the German-language Allgemeine Zeitung. It opened in March 2014. More serious criticism was levelled at the circumstances of the construction, which was built by a North Korean company, Mansudae Overseas Projects, without the involvement of national architects and craftsmen, in at least questionable aesthetics. The same company was already responsible for the construction of the “Heroes’ Acre”, an ensemble of obelisk and statue of an unknown soldier, who bears a striking resemblance to ex-president Sam Nujoma, located about 15 km south of the centre, as well as the “New State House” in the suburb of Auasblick.