Omaruru

OMARURU

National Monuments

The Mission House and Church Missionary

Gottlieb Viehe founded the Mission Station on the 10th October 1870 – believed to be the founding date of Omaruru. He held sermons, started school tuition and established the very first meteorological station in Namibia with written records from 1880- 1887. Both Viehe, and the last missionary to live in the Mission House, August Kuhlmann (1939-1943), translated the New Testament from German to Herero. In 1984 the Municipality of Omaruru bought the Mission House from the Rhenish Missionary Society and in 1986 it was declared a National Monument. The consecration of the Mission Church took place in December 1873 and that of the Roman Catholic Church in 1907. The mission church is currently under the protection of the Historical Monuments Commission.

The Franke Tower

Very significant in the history of Omaruru, and also depicted on the Municipal Coat of Arms is the Franke Tower, this monument is often visited by tourists to Namibia. After the Herero Rebellion flared up on the 17th of January 1904, Major Victor Franke of the Colonial Army freed Omaruru in the battle of 4th February 1904. Omaruru’s grateful residents built the Franke Tower in 1907 in honor of Major Franke and it was inaugurated on the 4th February 1908. The adjacent battlefield was declared to be under the protection of the Historical Monuments Commission in 1972.

Municipality of Omaruru

Omaruru was the very first town in Namibia to receive full municipal status in July 1909. The first council was elected on the 22nd July 1909. The first municipal office building was erected in 1926. It was moved to the present building in the 1980’s. This building was the first government school and hostel, taken into use on the 14th of May 1912, after school attendance became compulsory in 1909. Omaruru’s twin city is Vönersborg, Sweden.

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