|Classification|||||A.11.1.1. (Complexes of) Buildings, Spiritual, Churches|
|Instangible Aspects|||||It is believed that the cottage is the second oldest house built by the Europeans in Namibia (the oldest was built in 1806 in Warmbad and destroyed 1812).|
|Previous Use|||||Cottage: dwelling, goat shed, museum (1960s-70s). Church: school, storeroom.|
|Current Use|||||Cottage: Historical and ethnological exihibition by the Scientific Society since the 1980s, most valuable pieces now in the Museum of Lüderitz.|
|Refences|||||Official Gazette 3810, No. AG 41, 1978. Vogt, Andreas, "National Monuments in Namibia", Windhoek 2004, p.133-135. Albat, A, "Das Schmelenhaus in Bethanien", in: Journal der SWA Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft, Vol. 13, 1958-59.|
|Legal Status|||||Declared as National Monument on 17.08.1978 by the National Monuments Council of South Africa (NMC, National Monuments Act 1969, No. 28).|
The complex comprises the stone cottage known as "Schmelen House", the church and the graveyard on which several missionaries lie buried. The cottage is 9 x 3,5m wide and 3,75m high, half from flat stones, half from clay bricks. Inside plastered with cow dung and clay. Roof originally from camelthorn beams, covered with reeds and bulrush mats, capped with a layer of clay, today with corrugated iron. Simple church building with two connected front towers..
In 1814 the missionary Johann Heinrich Schmelen of the London Mission Society settled here. He lived in a self-built one-roomed house until 1834. In 1842 the station was taken over by Hans Christian Knudsen of the Rhenish Mission. He rebuilt Schmelen's house that had been burnt down. The Church was built in 1859 by Hermann Heinrich Kreft with support of the parish. It resembles the church of Unterbarmen in Germany due to its two towers that were removed later. When a new church was built in 1899, the old one served as a school and afterwards as a storeroom.