Zoo Park, down from Christuskirche, is a public recreational area with shady trees, pond, lawns and gardens by central Independence Avenue in Windhoek, Namibia. Zoo Park is one of the well-known Windhoek's monuments.
1.5 m column depicting an elephant hunt in Stone Age marks a spot where remains of two elephants and variety of tools were found during excavations for the reconstruction of Zoo Park by Windhoek Municipality in 1962, making the elephant kill there one of the earliest known such events in human history. It has been estimated that elephant remains are at least 5000 years old. Later the remains were transferred to the State Museum in 1990.
Original site where remains and tools
were found is commemorated by a memorial sculpture work by Dörte Berner,
well-known Namibian artist, which was commissioned and erected as part of a
competition held by the Windhoek Municipality, and overseen by the National
Monuments Council's Regional Committee in 1990.
This sculpture in Zoo Park also reminds that Windhoek was, in prehistoric times, an area of hot springs attracting animals and Stone Age hunters. The column details include depictions of an elephant hunt around the monument, with a sculpted elephant skull placed on the top of the structure.
Kriegerdenkmal (War Memorial)
This obelisk-shaped memorial with imperial eagle was unveiled on 5 April 1897 to honour members of German colonial forces, Schutztruppe who died during the war against Nama leader and chief, Hendrik Witbooi. The War Memorial in Zoo Park, Windhoek was officially proclaimed a national monument on 2 January 1969.
The area then known as Schutztruppe Memorial was designated by the German colonial authorities in what was then German South West Africa in 1897.The land was transferred to local control in 1911, when it was expanded. Cafe Zoo, which is still in operation, opened in 1916 after the coming of South African military control. From 1960 to 1963, the park was reshaped to accommodate the widening of modern Independence Avenue and Fidel Castro Street (then Kaiser Strasse and Peter Mueller Strasse). In 1967, the park was renamed in honor of Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of Apartheid. In February 1989, with Independence and majority rule just 13 months away, the park was named Windhoek Zoo Park.
In August 2006 group Africawise Namibia suggested the park to be renamed in honor of Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey, unsuccessfully.
Windhoek Zoo Park is a great place to relax in central Windhoek before or after a self-drive tour around Namibia,. There is also a well-located historical café in the grounds of Windhoek Zoo Park.
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