Traders from Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany, and the United Kingdom erected and occupied the castles and forts at various times. They worked for European chartered firms in the gold trade. Later in life, they were pivotal in the development of the slave trade, and hence in the history of the Americas, as well as the suppression of that trade in the 19th century.
Three castles, fifteen forts, four forts partially in ruins, four ruins with visible structures, and two sites with evidence of past defenses are among the 28 assets on the list. “These edifices witness to the previously booming trade between the indigenous African people and the European trading corporations of Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, France, Sweden, and Brandenburg of German Prussia,” UNESCO says of the 32 forts and castles along Ghana’s coast. These historical treasures have influenced Ghana’s political administration, justice, religion, health care, and even architecture.
In this article, Mrpocu.com will list some of the top forts and castles in Ghana you should visit before you die. Is a place full of history and it’s one of the best places to learn about Slave trade. And Africa-Americans.
Ghana Travel Restrictions
Ghana is open to most travelers again. I mean travelers from all over the world. However, you do need proof of your COVID-19 vaccination(s) or a negative test result before being allowed entry.
Many hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health & safety protocols in place, and you still have to follow certain guidelines. They are all good for our safety.
Read the ultimate travel guide to Ghana to help you plan your trip.
Forts and Castles In Ghana
Cape Coast Castle
The Portuguese erected the Cape Coast Castle in the 15th century. It is the country’s second largest castle, behind Elmina Castle. The Portuguese, Dutch, Danes, Swedes, and English had a ding-dong competition for control of Cape Coast for nearly a century. The fort remained in English control until the late nineteenth century, acting as the West African headquarters of the Committee of Merchants’ president and then as the seat of the British governor.
The Portuguese erected the Elimina Castle over 500 years ago during their exploration of Africa. It served as a rest stop as well as a location to do business. Because it was near the sea, they brought black slaves from there. It chronicles the bloody history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Central area of the country, which is noted for its forts and castles.
The James fort
The Fort James, built by the British in 1673, serves as a reminder of former colonial control. Though it no longer serves its original purpose, it illustrates Ghana’s struggle and success. You can also climb the lighthouse to have a better perspective of the village and take some photos. The Fort, which is painted red and white, also acts as a lighthouse.
The Christianborg Castle, also known as the Osu Castle, dates back to the early seventeenth century as a facility for storing slaves for transfer to other nations.
It is unique among Ghana’s castles and forts because it served as a Government House at various times during the nineteenth century. It was originally the headquarters of the Danish Gold Coast. It is popular among forts and castles in Ghana
Anomabu Castle, also known as Fort William, is located in Anomabu, on the shore of the Mfantsiman Municipal Assembly. The population of the town is estimated to be 14,389 people. Between 1753 and 1760, it was constructed as a result of European trade rivalry in the 17th and 18th centuries. The first lodge, erected by the Dutch using earthwork in 1640, passed through four owners: the Dutch, the Swedes, the Danes, the Dutch again, and ultimately the English.
Fort St. Jago
Fort St. Jago was erected by the Portuguese in 1555 and 1558 to function as a chapel and is located near Elmina Castle. It’s also known as Coenraadsburg. It served only as a military base for the Dutch and had no commercial value. A Portuguese missionary converted and baptized the paramount chief of the Efutu Kingdom on the Mina coast, along with 300 of his subjects, in 1503, according to historical narrative by the Portuguese Diego de Alvarenga. It was important in the Dutch’s successful ground attack on Elmina Castle. It served no economic purpose because the Dutch only utilized it for military objectives. It is one of the Gold Coast’s oldest exclusively military structures.
Fort St. Anthony
In 1503, the Portuguese had built a trading post in Axim, near the edge of the River Ankobra, but they had to abandon it due to insistent attacks by the local people. They then constructed, in 1515, a massive triangular fort on a small promontory closer to the River Ankobra named ‘Santo Antonio’. In 1642, the Dutch captured the fort and subsequently made it part of the Dutch Gold Coast. The fort was expanded by the Dutch. Some of these expansions were to improve defence while others housed slaves before they were loaded onto transport ships.
In Dutch, Batenstein literally translates to “profit fort.” It is located in Ghana’s Western Region, behind Butre settlement. It was erected by the Dutch in 1656, but was captured by the British in 1665, abandoned in 1818-27, rebuilt by the Dutch in 1828, relinquished by treaty, and remained in Dutch hands until 1872, when it was handed over to the British.
Fort Apollonia – Beyin
The name Apollonia was given to the fort by a Portuguese explorer who discovered it on St. Apollonia’s Day, years after the slave trade had ended. The Dutch took control of Fort Apollonian in 1868, renaming it after their monarch, Willem III, and holding it until 1872.
Fort St. Sebastian
Built as a Dutch lodge in 1526, Fort St. Sebastian was abandoned by the Portuguese in 1600. It is located in Shama, Ghana’s Central Region. Repairs were conducted out by the Dutch between 1640 and 1642.
Forts and Castles And Their Regions in Ghana
- Fort Apollonia at Beyin
- Fort St. Anthony at Axim
- Fort Gross Friedricksburg at Princestown
- Fort Dorothea at Akwida
- Fort Metal Cross at Dixcove
- Fort Batenstein at Butre
- Fort Orange at Sekondi
- Fort St. Sebastian at Shama
- The Fort at British Komenda
- Fort Vendenburg, Dutch Komenda
- Castle of St. George’s, Elmina
- Fort St. Jago at Elmina
- Cape Coast Castle
- Fort Victoria at Cape Coast
- Fort Royal at Cape Coast
- Fort William at Cape Coast
- Fort McCarthy at Cape Coast
- Fort Fredericksburg at Amanful
- Fort Nassau at Mouri
- Fort William at Anomabu
- The Little Fort at Anomabu
- Fort Amsterdam at Abandzi
- The Fort at Tantumquery
- Fort Patience at Apam
- Fort Good Hope at Senya Beraku
GREATER ACCRA REGION
- James Fort at Jamestown, Accra
- Ussher Fort, Ussher Town, Accra
- Christiansborg Castle at Osu, Accra
- Fort Augustaborg at Teshie
- Fort Vernon, Prampram
- Fort Fredensborg at Old Ningo
- Fort Prinzensten at Keta
- The Fort at Kumasi.