Major Forts And Castles In Ghana And Where To Find Them

By | March 17, 2022
Forts in Ghana

The coming of the Europeans to Ghana and the subsequent colonization of the country saw the establishment of some forts and castles across the length and breadth of Ghana for some particular purposes only.

According to the Collins Dictionary in defining a fort, it says a strong or fortified place occupied by troops and usually surrounded by walls, ditches, and other defensive works for the purpose of defense.

A castle is also defined by Wikipedia as a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by military orders.

With the above definitions, we can assume the purposes for which the Europeans put up forts and castles in Ghana, especially along the beaches and coastal areas.

In this article, we turn our attention to finding out about the forts and castles in Ghana and where they can be found if anyone seeks to learn about their very existence away from the internet.

Forts And Castles In Ghana

The Portuguese, the British, and the Danes established forts and castles in Ghana, the then Gold Coast for security reasons as these buildings come with some strong defense mechanisms against their enemies.

Below, you will find a list of forts that can be found in Ghana and the precise places to locate them if you need to visit any of them.

1. Fort James

Located on 4131 Tetteh Kpeshie Rd, Accra, Fort James is a fort located in Accra, Ghana. It was built by the Royal African Company of England as a trading post for both gold and slaves in 1673 when both trades were flourishing.

Fort James upon its establishment joined the Dutch Fort Crêvecœur and the Danish Fort Christiansborg along the coast of the then Gold Coast.

2. Ussher Fort

Fort Ussher is located in Accra, Ghana at 33 Prof.Atta Mills High St, Accra.  It was built by the Dutch in 1649 and is named at the time as Fort Crèvecœur.

By location and distance, Fort Ussher is a day’s march from Elmina and to the east of Accra on a rocky point between two lagoons. This very fort was one of three forts that Europeans built in the region during the middle of the 17th century.

3. Osu Castle 

As the name already bears a place in Ghana, it is clear that the Osu Castle is located in Osu, a town on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea in the Greater Accra Region of the country.

According to oral and written history, his substantial fort was built by Denmark-Norway in the 1660s, thereafter the fort changed ownership between Denmark-Norway, Portugal, Britain, and finally post-Independence Ghana.

4. Fort Prinzenstein 

This fort is located in Keta in the Volta Region of Ghana just along the coasts of the Gulf of Guinea that extends to the border of Togo in Aflao to the East of the country.

Fort Prinzenstein was mainly used for the purposes of the slave trade in the then Gold Coast. Back in the day, Keta served as an open port until the Tema Harbour commenced its operation to the west in 1962.

The fort has been designated a World Heritage property after the independence of Ghana and has been in the care of the Ghana Tourism Board ever since.

5. Cape Coast Castle

The Cape Coast Castle is located in Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana. It is one of about forty “slave castles”, or large commercial forts, built in the Gold Coast of West Africa by European traders.

It was originally a Portuguese trading post, established in 1555, which they named Cabo Corso before it was renamed after ownership was released to Ghana post-independence.

6. Elmina Castle

The Elmina Castle was established by the Portuguese in 1482 and named at the time Castelo de São Jorge da Mina is also known as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina, in present-day Elmina, Ghana.

According to available history, the fort was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara.

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