Alte Feste Museum


The Alte Feste (Old Fortress) is a fortress and museum in downtown Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. The building was designed by captain Curt von François to serve as headquarters of the imperial German Schutztruppe (colonial military force) during German colonization of South-West Africa.

The foundation was laid on 18 October 1890 by then Schutztruppe private Gustav Tünschel. The building was redesigned multiple times during the first years; its final layout was only completed in 1915. It consists of an inner courtyard with high walls and accommodation for the troops on the inside, as well as four towers. Alte Feste is the oldest surviving building in the city which subsequently developed around it.

The plaque on the wall outside the entrance states that the fort was built as a ‘stronghold to preserve peace and order between the rivalling Namas and Hereros’. In other rooms there are displays of the early household implements, tools and musical instruments of the first missionaries and European settlers. Arranged alongside these are similar objects used by the different ethnic Namibian peoples, making for an unorthodox, but nevertheless interesting, display.

The Independence Exhibition contains photographs, flags, uniforms and other memorabilia of the transition period from South African colonial rule to independence, monitored by the United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG). In addition there are interesting sections looking at the various sectors of the economy and their respective roles in Namibia’s future development. One prominent section focuses on SWAPO, Namibia’s governing party since independence.

The rest of the museum is a modern complex which displays exhibits on natural history and ethnic crafts, and the library has a good collection of early books on Southwest Africa.

NAWindhoek, Namibia


Alte Feste Museum
Profile added by Ano Shumba on 22 Oct 2015