Castles In Ghana – Fort Batenstein

by Kojo Pocu
Fort Batenstein

Are you looking for the lost castles in Ghana? The Fort Batenstein is said to be the lowest castle in the country. Read and know more about the castle.

Fort Batenstein was built in the 17th century, specifically in 1656, by Dutch traders who had arrived in the Gold Coast and taken up residence on the Western region’s coastal areas, near Butre, where the Dutch had claimed territorial control at a time when European nations were vying for control of important trading routes and areas in the Gold Coast.

The Dutch West India Company built Fort Batenstein, like most European forts in Ghana, to counter the growing commercial influence of the Swedes through the Swedish Africa Company, which had successfully built a fort on the coast years earlier, despite the fact that they came to meet the Dutch on their arrival in Gold Coast.

The Dutch later managed to incite the local population against the Swedish, resulting in the Swedish being attacked and forced to flee the area. Following this, the Dutch made a covenant with the elders and chiefs of the Butre and Ahanta areas, committing the people and the entire region under their rule.

The treaty remained in effect until the Dutch-Ahanta conflict of 1837, when the Dutch and the native people fought one other. During this turbulent period, Fort Batenstein rose to prominence and became an important fort on the Gold Coast, as the Dutch utilized it as their central military command center, where decisions were made, shelter was sought, and plans were devised.

By the end of the conflict, the Dutch had vanquished the Ahantas and established a protectorate over the area, with the commander of the Fort serving as the protectorate’s Vice Governor.

Fort Batenstein

After the British proved too strong and took control of the majority of the Gold Coast and castles in Ghana, the Dutch opted to pack up and depart the Gold Coast entirely forty years later. In 1872, the Dutch gave the Fort to Britain as part of their departure agreements. As a result, Fort Batenstein was considered British property from that time until 1957, when the British left.

Unfortunately, the Fort is not in the same condition as it was in the 17th century, as some of the significant features that illustrate the story have worn away. Regardless, Fort Batenstein attracts a large number of visitors on a regular basis and is one of the most important and visited tourist destinations in the Western region.