It was later on rebuilt in stone.In April 1663 the whole Swedish Gold Coast was seized by the Danes, and integrated in the Danish Gold Coast One is a lighthouse; another, Christianborg Castle, is the seat of government in Ghana, which won independence from Britain in 1957. Two of the castles/forts that are designated as WHS are located in Elmina. Via an underground tunnel they were lead to a door (the "Door of No Return"), where at the other side a ship would be ready to take them overseas. For the next 212 years the castle was the base of Britain's interests in West Africa. just outside of cannon shot range from a fort of another country. Looking out over the great trapezoidal stone courtyard to the walkway where 16 three-ton cannons face the waves, I immediately got an impression of aggression and military might. Surely as a slave trader its not good for business if your slaves die in such numbers before you can sell them? Ghana is currently a treasure trove of the slave history, and the Cape Coast Castle is one of the main castles people come to connect with the history. Urine and faeces were often strewn on the floors of the dungeons. No fees were charged for admission, but access was of course, controlled. The castle was originally built for Swedish colonisers to transport timber and gold out of Africa. For more than 100 years the area around Elmina was the center of a thriving trade in gold, ivory and peppers, which the Africans supplied in abundance, and cloth, beads, metals and hardware, which the Portuguese brought from Europe. There were about 8 foreigners in my tour group, more than I had met so far in the rest of Ghana: these castles obviously are the closest thing Ghana has to a tourist attraction. Perhaps Ghana’s most famous castle, Cape Coast, was originally built by the Swedes for trade in timber and gold before being used in the transatlantic slave trade. At Elmina Castle, Cape Coast Castle and the forts at Axim, Dixcove and Senya Beraku, a guided tour is included. Thirty singles and doubles, without air- conditioning, go for $11 to $15. The triangular-shaped Cape Coast Castle is smaller, at 23,000 square feet, and is less impressively positioned than its neighbor. Major hotels charge about $60 a day for a car with a driver. 23 connections, Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions. It operated in three steps – European boats travelled to Africa where they exchanged goods for slaves. Learn how your comment data is processed. 3.50 Average Biriwa Beach Hotel, Post Office Box 50, Biriwa (no telephone). Leydsaemheyt, at Apam (now a guesthouse with barebones facilities costing $1.50 a night). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A meal for two from $12 to $25. Under the large arched roofs, bats fly about, blinded by the sudden light switched on so that visitors can find their way. Its corruption to ‘Cape Coast’ is now the accepted name of the capital of the Central Region of Ghana. In the slave market, two slits in the wall looking into the room testify to the fear of traders, who dared not meet their captives face to face. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Right after entering the castle, I was amazed how pretty it is. For most of the journey, neither the ocean nor any of the forts and castles can be seen, because the road from Accra is often some distance from the shore. The castles and forts were built and occupied at different times by traders from Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany and Britain. Visitors generally make a two-day trip to the castles along the coastal highway that connects Accra, Ghana's capital, with Abidjan, Ivory Coast, West Africa's most impressive metropolis. Dinner for two $14.50 to $25. Over the years and till date, the castle is used to educate tourists about the dark history of the slave trade. Originally, it was called Carlosborg Fort after King Charles X of Sweden. Both castles are well kept and truly deserve a visit. and Kwabana of Ghana ("Makes you think very deep"). Men and women were held in separate dungeons, crammed in by the hundreds with nowhere to go to the bathroom or get fresh air. The Fortresses. It oozed of slime. All are decked with fantastic sculptures -- five-headed dragons, elephants, whales or men in fetish coats -- symbolizing proverbs or notable events in the village's history. The original settlement of the castle was a small lodge built by the Portuguese called Cabo Corco. Elmina's storerooms were converted to dungeons as other European powers built lodges and forts on what became known as the Gold Coast and began competing fiercely for their share of the trade from the mid-1600's on. Fort Metal Cross, at Dixcove (also a guesthouse for low-budget travelers only). Before that it had been used as a trading lodge by the Portuguese. The buildings are of course indelibly associated with the Atlantic slave trade and, for many people that will be the main focus of a visit. The following 3 forts are best visited on the way back from Takoradi. Here a lingering sense of abstraction ("How was it possible?") It was later used as an auction hall for slaves but is now a little museum covering a wide range of historical aspects beyond “slavery”. Attraction Category: See Ghana, Forts & Castles, and HeritageAttraction Tags: africa, cape coast, castles, coast, dungeon, elmina, forts, forts and castles, forts and castles in ghana, ghana, Gold coast, heritage, Slave, tour west africa, and west africa. Its proximity to St. George’s Castle (Elmina Castle) and its sheltered beach were all forceful ‘pull factors’ for European nations to the Cape Coast. I guess i shouldn't have been so shocked given humanity's track record of inhumanity to others. It stands only a few miles from another slave castle built by the Portuguese at Elmina in the late fifteenth century.

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