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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa



Reiterdenkmal (1911)

This equestrian bronze statue commemorates soldiers and civilians killed in the colonial wars 1904 – 1907.

A total of 1,525 officers and soldiers, 92 marine officers and soldiers and 124 civilians were killed in action during the wars with Namibians between 1903-1907 and during the Kalahari expedition in 1908. This was in opposition to German colonial rule.

The Equestrian Statue or Reiterdenkmal was the idea of Colonel Ludwig von Erstoff, the Commander of the Kaiserliche Schutztruppe. The statue was designed by Adolf Kürle and cast in the Gladbeck foundry in Berlin. It was brought to Swakopmund by ship in 1911 and transported by railway to Windhoek. It was originally placed between the Christus Kirche and Alte Feste but was moved in 2009 a further 50m towards the end of the Alte Feste, to make way for extensions to the National Museum.

It is a double-sized statue, 4.5m high and stands on a pedestal made from granite found in the Okahandja area. It depicts a German Schutztruppe cavalryman in full uniform (less scabbard and saddlebags for artistic purposes) and faces northwards (in the direction of the Imperial Army). The statue represents an eventual victory after heavy fighting.
The statue was officially proclaimed a national monument on 2nd January 1969.

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