Welcome to Bethanie


Schmelen’s original 1814 mission station, Schmelenhaus, occupied a one-storey cottage. It was burnt to the ground when he left Bethanie in 1828, and later rebuilt in 1842 by the first Rhenish missionary, Reverend Hans Knudsen. The building now sits on the grounds of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and houses a museum full of old photos of the mission. If it’s locked, a notice on the door will tell you where to pick up a key.

Also worth a look is the 1883 home of Captain Joseph Fredericks, the Nama chief who signed a treaty with the representatives of Adolf Lüderitz on 1 May 1883 for the transfer of Angra Pequena (present-day Lüderitz). It was here in October 1884 that Captain Fredericks and the German Consul General, Dr Friedrich Nachtigal, signed a treaty of German protection over the entire territory.


Top experiences in Bethanie

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