Dias Point - Luderitz Bucht - Please HELP

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Wednesday, 18th July 2018

Please help to preserve this Historic Site

Brief History of DIAS POINT

(NB - Dias is the Portuguese spelling)

In August 1487, Bartolomeu Dias sailed from Lisbon, aiming to round the southern point of Africa and get to India. At the end of December 1487, he named our bay Angra das Voltas (Bay of Tacks) since he had to tack so much against southerly gales in his small caravels.

He tacked south for several days, then east, then north, landing at what is now Mossel Bay on 3 February 1488.

He sailed on east, then raised a stone beacon (padrao) on Kwaaihoek, a rocky point near the present Port Elizabeth where he saw the coast tended northwards, proving he had rounded Africa in the gales.

In calmer weather, he headed back west along the coast, discovering the Cape of Storms as he called it, near the southern tip of Africa. His king renamed it the Cape of Good Hope on his return, since Dias had shown the way to a hopefully prosperous future.

The PADRAO at Dias Point

On 24 July 1488 Dias landed at a rocky point west of a narrow bay he called Angra Pequena (Narrow Bay).

The next day, 25th July, St James Zebedee's Day, he erected a PADRAO made of soft Lisbon limestone. Pieces of the original, found in 1953 by Professor Eric Axelson, are in museums in South Africa, Germany, Portugal and in Windhoek. In the Luderitz Museum is a plaster cast.

On 25 July 1988, 500 years after Dias raised his padrao at what is today known as Dias Point, a Namibian dolerite REPLICA PADRAO was unveiled to mark the end of the Dias 500 Festival.

German Involvement

In 1903 the German colonists built a small LIGHTHOUSE on Dias Point Ridge, replaced in 1910 by the 53-metre one. The last light-keepers left in 1998 when lighthouses around the world were automated due to new technology (GPS).

In 1911 the Germans built a wooden Foghorn House on the Dias Cross Rock; it was, however, destroyed by huge waves on 6 June 1977.

The WOODEN BRIDGE built for safer access to that Foghorn and used by visitors to the PADRAO was destroyed by a gale on 15 November 2014. It must be replaced!

Funds are needed to rebuild the bridge and a special account for this purpose opened.

Please assist in rebuilding the bridge by making a donation.

Donations can be made to:

Dias Bridge - Standard Bank - Luderitz

Acc No: 60001585753 - Code: 08 04 71 (43) or SWIFT SBNMNANX

Proof of payments to be sent to:

Crispin Clay, Vice Chair, Dias Bridge Committee
By email to diaspeak@iway.na or by post to PO Box 23 Luderitz
Mobile/sms 0812 831 875

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