From the shore, the delightful German-style Woermannhaus stands out above surrounding buildings. It is easily recognized as the building on the high ground with a decorated tower (also known as the Damara Tower). Visitors can climb the tower and visit the Swakopmund Arts Association on the first floor, which has exhibits of traditional Namibian art alongside some contemporary European art and the local library.
Built in 1905 and designed by Friedrich Höft as the main offices of the Damara & Namaqua Trading Company. Four years later it was taken over by the Woermann & Brock Trading Company, which supplied the current name. In the 1920s, it was used as a school dormitory and later served as a merchant sailors’ hostel. It eventually fell into disrepair, but was declared a national monument and restored in 1976. The public library moved into part of the building.
Swakopmund Military Museum and the Damara Tower
For years, the prominent Damara tower (formerly a water tower) of the Woermannhaus was used as a lookout position to see when ships arrived at sea, and when ox wagons arrived from the desert and also provided a landmark for ships at sea and the traders arriving by ox wagon from the interior.
It now affords a splendid panorama, and houses the Swakopmund Military Museum and a gallery of historic paintings. You can pay the admission and pick up a key at the library.