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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Diaz Cross


Visit Diaz Cross at Diaz Point (1488) Beautiful historical buildings from the 1900. Goerkehaus built in 1909. Felsenkirche (1912) Visit the Ghost town Kolmanskop.

Bartolomeu Dias was another renowned Portuguese explorer and seafarer who sailed the seas around Africa discovering sailing routes, pioneering travel and orientating trade routes between Western Europe and Asia. Dias was ordered by King John II of Portugal to try and sail to the southern end of Africa. His Majesty wanted to know how far ships could sail on that route after previous expeditions to the Orient had failed. Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to set eyes on Lüderitz, when he sought shelter in the bay during a storm on Christmas Day 1487. Upon his return from the Cape of Good Hope in July 1488, he erected a stone cross which is now known as Dias Point.
Although the original cross is no longer there, a replica marble cross has been erected in its place. The stone beacon remained undamaged, less for weathering by the Atlantic winds and surf pounding against the limestone sides, until the early 19th century.

The larger pieces remained on the site until June 1953, when an archaeologist Dr Axel Erikson, found several of them and a number of smaller chips from the original padrão at Dias Point. It was his intention to use a combination of these pieces, plus the fragments of the pieces recovered in 1855, to eventually reconstruct a replica. Unfortunately he passed away in 1956, before his project could be completed.

In 1988 it was decided by the National Monuments Council's Regional Committee for SWA, to instruct a stonemason from Karibib, Mr Paul Petzold, to draw up 'the necessary plans for a replica'.

After much discussion (and some disagreement) a replica padrão fashioned according to Petzold's plans was created. Mr Petzold had relied on an original sketch drawn by Captain Thomas Bolden Thompson, of HMS Nautilus, in 1786.

Paul Petzold was also commissioned to carve a replica of the padrão from Namib dolerite. It was erected on the original site in 1988 and unveiled on the 25th July 1988 as part of the 500th anniversary of the Dias landing. This replica replaced a marble cross that once stood on a cement pedestal and is now housed in the gardens of the Lüderitz Museum.

The Site of the Original Dias Cross was declared a national monument of the 12th January 1973.

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