Cape Cross

The Cape Cross ( afr. Kaap Kruis, English Cape Cross ) is a headland in the South Atlantic on the coast of Namibia and lies on the coast road C34 about 70 kilometers north of Henties Bay. It is now part of the nature reserve " Cape Cross Seal Reserve ".


The Portuguese navigator and explorer Diogo Cão was in 1484 commissioned by King John II to advance in the course of the search for a sea route to India and the spice islands along the west coast of Africa to the south in undiscovered regions. In this context, the team had set up to particularly striking points of the coast especially on the ships carried stone crosses ( called Padrãoes ) to document the occupation by the Portuguese crown permanently.

In January 1486 Diego Cão entered probably the first European to the Point at 21 ° 46 ' south latitude on today's Cape Cross where they erected a stone cross in accordance with the contract (see also: Cold Cape and Diaz- peak). This original was spent in 1893 in the German colony of German South-West Africa by Lieutenant Commander Gottlieb Becker, commander of the SMS Falke, removed to Germany (Berlin) and replaced by a simple wooden cross. Even the wooden cross was two years later replaced by a replica in stone at Cape Cross. End of the 20th century was due to private donations add another, the original rather corresponding new stone cross, so that today at Cape Cross are two crosses.

Also interesting is the wording of the obvious even before the start of the journey Diogo Cao's prefabricated Latin inscription on the stone cross: "In the year 6685 after the creation of the world and 1485 after the birth of Christ the excellent, forward-looking King John II of Portugal commissioned a knight of his court, Diogo Cão, to discover this country and to build the Padrão here. "So at that time was generally believed that the earth was created in 5,200 BC by the Creator. James Ussher " calculated" in 1650 the creation time on October 23, 4004 BC 9.00 clock from biblical quotations ( Ussher - Lightfoot Calendar).


Translation of the Latin inscription

Stamp of the imperial post for German South-West Africa postmarked Cape Cross 1900