Ghana

ELMINA CASTLE

Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine) Castle, also known simply as Mina or Feitoria da Mina) in present-day Elmina, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast). It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. The Dutch seized the fort from the Portuguese in 1637, and took over all the Portuguese Gold Coast in 1642. The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1814. In 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast, including the fort, became a possession of the British Empire.

Gold Coast, which is now Ghana gained its independence in 1957 from Britain, and had control of the castle. Elmina Castle is an historical site, and was a major filming location for Werner Herzog’s 1987 drama film Cobra Verde. The castle is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

(Pictures taken in 1994)

FORT METAL CROSS

Fort Metal Cross, originally Fort Dixcove, is a military structure in Dixcove, Ghana.

Brandenburg-Prussia started building Fort Groß Friedrichsburg about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of Dixcove in 1683, (now Princes Town) in the colony of Brandenburger Gold Coast but it was not completed until the 1690s.

Fort Metal Cross was besieged twice in 1712 by John Kanu, a local ally of the Prussians, but the fort was defended successfully.

The fort wastransferred to the Dutch as part of a large trade of forts betweenBritain and the Netherlands in 1868 under the Anglo-Dutch Gold CoastTreaty. It was renamed Fort Metalen Kruis. Four years later, however,on 6 April 1872, the fort was, with the entire Dutch Gold Coast,again transferred to the United Kingdom, as per the Gold Coast treatyof 1871. The Dutch name stuck, however, translated as Fort MetalCross.

The Fort was included as one of the Forts and Castles of Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions that became a World Heritage Site in 1979.

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