Elmina, also known as Edina by the local Fante. It is found in the Central Region of Ghana near Cape Coast. It’s one ancient town in Ghana, and a must-visit destination for tourists. Elmina is among the first to be discovered by the European sailors who arrived on the coast of Ghana in the early 16th century. It is also the capital of the Komenda/Edina/Abirem District on the south coast of Ghana in the Central Region.
The enchanting town of Elmina lies on a narrow finger of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Benya Lagoon. No wonder the European loved it there. Before the arrival of the Portuguese, the town was called, Anomansah (meaning the inexhaustible supply of water). it was because of the position on the peninsula between the sea and the Benya Lagoon.
In 1478 the Castilian Armada and Portuguese fleet got involved in a war near Elmina for the control of the Guinea Trade Route. A route which was responsible for the supply of gold and other wealth. The Portuguese won the war, followed by the official recognition by the Catholic Monarchs of Portuguese sovereignty over most of the West African territories in dispute embodied in the treaty of Alcacovas, 1479.
The town grow around Sao Jorge da Mina castle, built by the Portuguese Diego de Azambuja in 1482 on the shore of a town or village called Amakwakrom. The castle was Portugal’s West African headquarters for trade and exploitation of African wealth.
The Portuguese was first interested in Gold and later the port expanded to include tens of thousands of slaves channeled through the trading port of Elmina. By 1479, the Portuguese were transporting slaves all over the country and as far away as Benin.
Now Elmina is one of the few towns in Ghana that still have remnants of the dreaded slave trade and colonization. On their shore or close to the town, one could see the storied Elmina castle built by the Portuguese in their quest to control the area and slave captive.
Although we are in modern times, but the town still keeps its ancient outlook with most of the houses in the town being constructed over hundreds of years. It is what the people take pride in and say it reminds them of their ancient past
What they do
Elmina is also one of the busiest fishing towns in Ghana, with a majority of the working population engaging in the trade either as fishermen or fish traders.
Why you should visit
Elmina or Elmina castle is one of the most visited historical destination in Ghana. It’s a must-visit town if you love to learn and follow the history of Africa Americans ancient past.