The Forts And Castles Of Ghana

By Kojo Aurelien

The Forts And Castles

The forts and castles of Ghana were constructed by the Portuguese along the coast of Ghana between Keta and Beyin between the years 1482 and 1786. The Portuguese were intrigued by the rich source of gold in Ghana so they traveled there and created trading posts to trade resources with others. The castles were used to defend trading post, merchants, allies, and trading goods from rivals. They also played a major role in the development of slave trade. The fortresses consisted of Elmina Castle, Cape Coast Castle, and Osu Castle, Fort Santo Antonio, Fort Amsterdam, Fort Coenraddsburg, Fort Patience, Fort San Sebastian, Fort Goede Hoop, Fort Vredenburgh, and Fort Metal Cross. The forts and castles were captured by the Dutch in 1637. In 1867 the British took control of the eastern castles and the Netherlands were given the western castles. Some of the forts and castles of Ghana are now UNESCO sites and are available for the public to see.

Criterion

These citadels are valuable because they are an important symbol of the beginning of the African diaspora, the slave trade, and in the first gold trade in human history.

The African Diaspora

The transatlantic slave trade was the largest forced human migration in history. In the 15th century the Europeans attacked west and central Africa and took slaves captive and during the 19th century Arabs captured slaves from central and east Africa and sold them in markets. They traded slaves and weapons for gold dust. Slaves were shipped to many places throughout the world but the largest African populations were found in Europe, America, and the Middle East. The Arab and Atlantic slave trades both came to an end during the 19th century.

Bibliography

"Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions." - UNESCO World Heritage Centre. unesco, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2014. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/34>.


"DFATD, PSU - GHANA." DFATD, PSU - GHANA. DFATD, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <http://www.psu-ghana.org/castle.htm>.



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"Castles and Forts." in Ghana. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomeP


"Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions - World Warisan - UNESCO World Heritage Sites In The News." Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions - World Warisan - UNESCO World Heritage Sites In The News. worldwarisan.net, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. <http://www.worldwarisan.net/home/forts-and-castles-volta-greater-accra-central-and-western-regions>.