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Swakopmund (sfäˈkôpmənt) [key], municipality (1991 pop. 17,681), W Namibia, on the Atlantic at mouth of Swakop River. A rail terminus and seaside resort surrounded by the Namib desert, the town was originally a port for German South West Africa, but the harbor silted up and was supplanted by Walvis Bay after 1915. There is a strong German architectural influence in the town, which has many Bavarian-style buildings. There are salt, garnet, and uranium deposits in the region, as well as a Chinese orbital tracking station. Founded in 1892 by German settlers, Swakopmund was captured by South Africa in 1915.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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