The population of its occupants was ordinarily two thirds men, one third women and they were held in separate dungeons. 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. A meal for two from $12 to $25. “These edifices testify to the once flourishing trade between the indigenous African people and the European trading companies of Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, France, Sweden, and Brandenburg of German Prussia. Both castles are well kept and truly deserve a visit. Its corruption to ‘Cape Coast’ is now the accepted name of the capital of the Central Region of Ghana. Mr. Adu-Arhin is thorough and informative as we pass through the officers' pleasant wood-floored quarters on the second floor. "Any time I take visitors here I pray to Almighty God, He who has abolished the trade from Africa," he said. Komenda is beautiful restorted too. 3.50 Average Thank you. 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. Today the Castle is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Doubles are $29.65 without air-conditioning or $57.40 with air-conditioning; suites are $63.75. 2184). Turning back along the tunnel to visit the male dungeons, larger but not different in kind from the ones already seen, I felt a swelling sense of oppression. By the 18th century an estimated 68,400 slaves were exported from Africa each year, of whom about 41,000 came from West Africa, according to published accounts of the times. One served as the Residence of, the Governor of Cold Coast Colony, at least one was in use as a prison, some were, kept as museums, and many were preserved as temporary residences for travelling, colonial officials. At the end is a narrow opening, which once led to the beach where canoes took the captives to ships at anchor. Slaves would be held there for up to 12 weeks at a time before being traded for goods and loaded onto the cargo ships to be taken to America. They seem to be visited by a number of foreign tourists and also by busloads of schoolchildren. The reason behind this research is to find out what more can be done to keep the castles in good shape. Cape Coast Castle was one of the largest in size along the Gold Coast of West Africa. The Fortresses. I was posted at Accra in 1946-47 at the American Consulate, and took the occasion, to visit as many as I could of the old trading forts built by European companies, along the coast of the then British colony of the Gold Coast. They served the gold trade of European chartered companies. The pleasures of the road are relatively few: giant red and yellow anthills, a glimpse of mud-hut villages with thatched roofs. Both castles are impressive buildings and are wonderfully situated right on a coastline of fine beaches next to fishing harbours and markets which extend right up to the castle walls. He paused a moment and then continued: "I am sorry to tell you there was a door here they used to close. For five years, it was fought over by the Danes, Dutch and Swedes before the British seized control in 1664 in the second Anglo-Dutch war. Inside, the castle opens confidently to the sea. - English Fort (Fort Vrendenburg), Komenda. Eighteen air-conditioned double rooms cost $19 a night. Today the fortresses reveal some of the horrors of West Africa's past. The Cape Coast Castle is one of the many large commercial forts built on the Coast of Ghana by European traders. Climbing the wooden ladder into the men's dungeon, I put my hand out to steady myself on the wall. The peeling walls are covered with a green mold. Darkened windows gape above its great double stone stairs; a black iron balustrade, marked "W" for William, King of Orange (1672-1702), is the only touch of decoration. The Swedes, led by Krusenstjerna, however, were the initiators of the permanent structure presently known as Cape Coast Castle. The original settlement of the castle was a small lodge built by the Portuguese called Cabo Corco. Built or owned by British: e.g Cape Coast castle was rebuilt by the British after capture from the Danes in 1664. in 1844 it became the seat of government for the British colony of the Gold Coast Located in a Former Capital : In 1844,(Cape Castle)became the seat of the colonial Government of the British Gold Coast." To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Latterly they played a significant part in the developing slave trade, and therefore in the history of the Americas, and, subsequently, in the 19th century, in the suppression of that trade. There are 3 to the west of which Axim and Dixcove are very nice restorted. The sun beats on brilliant red flame trees in full blossom; in the background white breakwaters accent the azure sea. Their final voyage was through the ‘door of no return’ which led from the dungeon to the seaboard side of the castle, where boats would be waiting to take them onto cargo ships bound for the ‘new world’. Thirty singles and doubles, without air- conditioning, go for $11 to $15. The history of Ghana’s government administration, judiciary, religion, health care, and even its architecture has its roots at these ancient relics.” – (Ephson, Dr. Isaac S., Ancient Forts and Castles of the Gold Coast (Ghana), Ilen Publications, Accra 1970, page 13.). 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. The occupants of each castle eyeing the other suspiciously across the bay, on the lookout for any sign of weakness, opportunity or threat. Two can dine on lobster Provencal or beef stroganoff for $17 to $25. It became hot like fire." For the next 212 years the castle was the base of Britain's interests in West Africa. In 1652, the African, Asiatic, and American Company of … From that spot the Dutch raided the former Danish castle in 1637, and were able to keep it for 234 years. They had started capturing West Africans after finally reaching the continent and bringing them back to Europe but it did not boom until the 17th Century when a sudden growth in sugar plantations in the Caribbean spiked the demand for labour. Be sure to engage a knowledgeable guide to understand the centuries of tragedies that endured here. During World War II the castle was the training ground for the West African Frontier Force, which fought with distinction in Burma. Your email address will not be published. From the central coastal region and westward, also watch out for trucks barreling along carrying huge logs from upland timber regions. Government-run, with 70 doubles and suites, this stopover is in the center of Ghana's coastal region, in the country's third largest city, about three hours from Accra. Britain abolished slavery in 1833 and the castle went back to being a trading post for ordinary commodities. 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. It fell first to Danish forces, then came under the control of a local king, who sold it back to the Swedes. 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.
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