The recent downturn in Africa tourism is a double blow for Ghana’s history and historical tourist sites in Ghana, many of which help protect our culture and teach people our culture. Ghana is a magical place full of history, culture, scenery, wildlife, and some of the friendliest people on earth. It is one country with good and bad past and this past has left the country with great and nice historical sites where people travel from other countries to learn. Mostly, students visit these sites to gain more insight into the history of Ghana and how far we have come as a country.
Some of these sites date back to the time before the Europeans in Ghana and some also are related to the slave trade era when indigenes were captured and shipped to Europe. But then it was known as the Gold Coast with the British administration.
In is article, Mrpocu.com will list some of the top historical sites in Ghana you should consider adding to your bucket list.
Historical Sites In Ghana
Assin Manso Slave River
Assin Manso is a town in the Central Region of Ghana. It is located 40 kilometers along the Cape Coast-Kumasi highway and it is one of the top slavery historical sites in Ghana. Assin Manso River Park was one of the largest slave markets for gathering people to sell into slavery during the infamous trans-Atlantic slave trade. It is especially worth seeing as a prelude to viewing Cape Coast slave castle since you will be following the route taken by the ancestors of many African Americans. It was the final link route from northern Ghana and was known to have been the largest slave market for the merchants supplying slaves on the forts and castles on the coast.
On the way to the coastal dungeon, the slave merchants stopped at the DONKOR NSUO, ”the slave river”, in Assin Manso. The slaves were allowed to recuperate there after their long journey. Here at the river, they were well-fed and rested for several days or weeks. The merchants knew they could guarantee higher prices if they appeared healthy and strong. DONKO NSUO is where the captives would take their last bath in the waters of their native land. The Portuguese began the inhumane practice of branding. They would use a red, hot branding iron to burn an identifying mark onto the skin of captives and after the stronger slaves would continue walking for 40 miles to Cape Coast Castle, still shacked and chained and that is where they will last see their country.
This is one of the top slavery history sites that will get your tears down.
Cape Coast Castle.
Cape Coast Castle is one of the largest and popular slavery castles in the world and probably the largest in West Africa. The castle was built by the Portuguese in 1555, the first Europeans to arrive in Gold Coast 1471. The best history tells us that the Dutch lost control of a fortification to Swedish adventurers in 1652, who name it Fort Carolusburg. Ownership changed numerous times, both among local peoples and various European powers, until finally, in 1664, after a four-day battle, the fort was captured by the British and re-named Cape Coast Castle. The Castle served as the seat of the British administration in the then Gold Coast (Ghana) until the administration was moved to Christianborg Castle in Accra on March 19, 1877.
This is the oldest mosque in Ghana and also one of the oldest in West Africa, and has been referred to as the Mecca of West Africa. The Larabanga Mosque is a mosque built in the Sudanese architectural style in a village called Larabanga. It was built in the year 1421 and originally was built with mud, reed, and clay material as that was the popular building material at that time.
The mosque has an old Quran, believed by the locals to have been given as a gift from heaven in 1650 to Yidan Barimah Bramah, the Imam at the time, as a result of his prayers. The mosque, built using the West African adobe, has two tall towers in a pyramidal shape, one for the mihrab which faces towards Mecca forming the facade on the east and the other as a minaret in the northeast corner.
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial park
This park is one of the most popular tourist sites in Ghana, due to the great history of the first President of Ghana. It is dedicated to the prominent Ghanaian President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The mausoleum was designed by Don Arthur and houses the bodies of Kwame Nkrumah and his wife Fathia Nkrumah.
The mausoleum represents an upside-down sword, which in the local culture is a symbol of peace. The design was made of great Italian marble, with a black star at its apex to symbolize unity. It’s one tourist site that gets busy with visitors all the time from countries around the globe.
Gwollu Defence Wall
This wall was built in the 19th century by Gwollu Koro Limann, as a defense against slave traders for the residents of Gwollu town at that time. Gwollu is 70 km north of Wa, in the Upper West Region of Ghana.
Ussher Fort is a fort in Accra. It was built by the Dutch in 1649 as Fort Crèvecœur and is a day’s march from Elmina and to the east of Accra on a rocky point between two lagoons. It was one of three forts that Europeans built in the region during the middle of the 17th century. Fort Crèvecœur was part of the Dutch Gold Coast. The Anglo-Dutch Gold Coast Treaty (1867), which defined areas of influence on the Gold Coast, transferred it to the British in 1868.
Komfo Anokye Sword Site
He is the best fetish priest in history with a 333-years-old sword wedged in the rockface is one of the center artifacts and legends of the rich history of the Asante nation. And no one has ever been able to remove it. A tour of the sword site gives one great insight into the beginning of the Ashanti Kingdom. The landmark has been protected for future generations. This site is a historical landmark where the Legendary Okomfo Anokye Sword is cited.
Bonwire Kente Village
This village has been making kente since the 17th century and was the royal weaving village for the Asante king. Almost half of the population is involved in weaving kente, with weavers showing great pride in their work and often creating personal designs. This is more like their culture and people travel around the globe to see how kente is made in Bonwire village.
Ntonso Adinkra Cloth Village
Ntonso village is the homeland of adinkra cloth and the only place in Ghana where traditional adinkra is made locally from scratch. They are still Ghana’s biggest producer of adinkra, a cloth famed for its symbols, designs, and proverbial wisdom. The cloth was originally worn only for funerals in the Ashanti Region and was produced mainly in black, brown, and red. These days, however, it is made in all colors and used throughout Ghana.
Speaking of places, a must-visit for culture and history lovers is the Osu Castle. The castle also known as Fort Christiansburg, is located in Osu, Accra, Ghana on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf of Guinea. Osu castle was the seat of government in Ghana till John Kufour’s administration moved the seat of government to the Jubilee House.
The castle charges nothing or no gate fees but when there is an event, they sometimes require an invitation.
Fort Good Hope
The Dutch Gold Coast fort of Fort Good Hope, also known as Fort de Goede Hoop, was built close to Senya Beraku in 1667. The Dutch asked the Queen of Agona for permission to build a fort at Senya Beraku. It was intended to develop as a hub for regional gold trading.
Slaves began to be sold at the fort as a result of the failure of the gold trade. The slave prison was added, and a wall was built around it as a result. It holds a distinctive place in Ghana’s history of castles and forts because it was the final one to be constructed on the Gold Coast.
Traditional Buildings Of The Asante Kingdom
If you want to view the final tangible remnants of the legendary Asante culture, come here. To the northeast of Kumasi are the Asante traditional buildings, which serve as a symbol of an illustrious but suffering old civilization. The structures are particularly notable for their elaborate decorations and embellishments. The traditional structures include mausoleums, palaces, shrines, and residences.
The dwellings typically consist of four distinct, rectangular, one-room structures. Each building has a detailed mural decoration with geometric patterns that weave together in stunning ways. The state of the homes demonstrates how government action can help to maintain Ghanaian culture.
The only natural lake in Ghana, Lake Bosomtwi, is situated inside a long-ago impact crater. It is located 30 kilometers southeast of Kumasi and has a diameter of around 10.5 kilometers. It is a well-liked destination for both locals and visitors for recreation.
Over 70,000 people live in about 30 communities that surround the lake. The villagers believe that Bosomtwi is a holy lake where the spirits of the deceased bid the goddess Asase Ya farewell. Therefore, in order to maintain the cleanliness of the lake, fishing is only permitted using wooden planks.
Holy Trinity Cathedral
The British government provided the money for this cathedral. The Holy Trinity Cathedral belongs to the Accra Anglican Diocese. This historic structure was finished in 1894, but it wasn’t converted to a cathedral until 1909.
The rectangular bell tower is this fortress-like building’s most striking feature. The church is one of Ghana’s historic landmarks and a popular destination for tourists in addition to being a place of worship. An escape from the busy city sounds is provided by the peacefulness of the inhabitants inside the walls.
During their exploration of Africa more than 500 years ago, the Portuguese built the Elmina Castle. It served as a rest area and a place to conduct business. They took black slaves from there because it was close to the sea. It details the horrific trans-Atlantic slave trade’s history. It is located in the country’s Central region, which is known for its forts and castles, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.