Ghana's lands are rich with history and discovery. Visit some of the nation's castle and forts for an intriguing journey into the past.
Also known as Osu Castle for the area it resides in, this first lodge of this castle was built in the 17th century and serves as a government house today. Influenced by Swedish design, ownership of the lodge was taken by the Danish in 1657, then sold to the Dutch a short time later. When the Dutch were made to leave Osu, the castle was erected by the Danish in honour of the departed King of Denmark, Christian IV.
In 1482, the Portuguese built the very first trading post in the area and that building still stands today as the oldest building in Europe. Initially a trade settlement, the castle become known as the "slave castle" and continued to thrive as a port of trade even after the Dutch took it away from the Portuguese in 1637. In 1872, the area, including the castle, became property of the British Empire and the slave trade ended.
While construction of this fort began in 1697, disagreements between the British and the Dutch caused delays that left the building unfinished until 1702. Its name - Fort Patience - is a testament to the time spent on its construction. At first, the fort was no more than a small 2-level house, but was later fortified by bastions.
This British trading post of the late 17th century survived two Prussian sieges in the early 1700's. By the mid 1700's, it was able to house up to 25 cannons. It passed to Dutch hands in 1868, only to be returned to the British in 1872. In one of its hollow bastions, a prison was created to hold slave prisoners.
Cape Coast Castle
In 1653, this building was erected in wood, only to be fortified by stone later on. During its history, it passed through the hands of the Swedish, Danish, British, Dutch, and French, and is now owned by Ghana. The castle was used as a trading post for things like silks, spices, and clothing, but its largest market was in slaves, who were held here before their journey across the ocean to the Americas.