The city of Windhoek has existed for just over a century, but its history is as diverse as its population. During the German colonial occupation, it became the headquarters for the German Schutztruppe (Imperial Army), which was ostensibly charged with brokering peace between the warring Herero and Nama, but in reality was focused on whatever lands their efforts would gain for German occupation. For over 10 years at the turn of the 20th century, Windhoek served as the administrative capital of German South West Africa.
In 1902, a narrow-gauge railway was built to connect Windhoek to the coast at Swakopmund, and the city experienced a sudden spurt of growth. During this period, Windhoek began to evolve into the business, commercial and administrative centre of the country, although the modern city wasn't officially founded until 1965.