The castle also featured confinement cells — small pitch-black spaces for prisoners who revolted or were seen as rebellious. Placed strategically as links in the trade routes established by the Portuguese in the 15th century, who were the first settlers on the Gold Coast, the forts thereafter were seized, attacked, exchanged, sold and abandoned during almost four centuries of struggle between European powers for domination over the Gold Coast. Captives could spend as long as three months in confinement, awaiting their journey into a dark, and unknown future. Besides museums, some fortresses have been transformed into government offices, prisons, and guesthouses while others are nothing more than abandoned stone ruins with a few walls standing. Take a close look at the coast of Ghana, and you will find myriad ancient castles and forts. For example, the British governor and officers’ quarters were spacious and airy, with beautiful parquet floors and scenic views of the blue waters of Atlantic. They would be put in the notorious slave prison cell. Any revolt was harshly disciplined. The conditions were similar to that of the neighboring Cape Coast Castle. Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions, Volta Region Picture: Inside Cape Coast Castle Ghana - Check out Tripadvisor members' 49 candid photos and videos of Forts and Castles… This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Inside Cape Coast Castle. The city was originally known as Oguaa. Cape Coast Castle processed thousands of slaves therefore in the museum you can view original items used during this period. Stepping through Ghana's 'Door of No Return', This slave castle's inner walls are a haunting reminder of its gruesome past, Cape Coast Castle - From gold trade to slave trade, Kanye West changed his album after slavery comment controversy, Opinion: Why young Africans need to know their history. What’s equally horrifying is that you will see scratch marks made in desperation on the walls. Advertisement. When you enter Cape Coast Castle … Things to do in Cape Coast, Ghana. First built in 1482 as a Portuguese trading settlement, the 91,000 sq foot behemoth was one of the principal slave depots in the transatlantic slave trade for more than three centuries. Other Ghanaian slave castles include Elmina Castle and Fort Christiansborg. Thereafter it became a training center for Ghanaian police recruits and surprisingly a school for some time, before also being converted into a history museum. About 10-15% perished at sea during the so-called Middle Passage, never reaching their final destination. But in a market where the seller had little control over how each slave could be distinguished, the buyers often felt the need to label their new property, in the most inhumane of ways. Castles such as Elmina, Cape Coast and Ussher Fort have been turned into museums and offer guided tours. Some of them, like Ivor Bartels, are looking to reconnect with their lost family's heritage and unwittingly, a lot more. Once the slaves set foot in the castle, they could spend up to three months in captivity under these dreadful conditions before being shipped off to the New World. Human scratch marks can also be seen on the wall. One additional danger the females slaves had was the threat of rape. The slave trade was a profitable business therefore the Europeans were also fighting with each other. Most of the scenes where shoot ca 115 years ago, but we have also included some far older lithographic prints of Vincent book prints. These were truly horrific condition, worse than you could ever imagine. Cape Coast also was the 1st capital of the Gold Coast, chosen by the British colonial power. There were no bathrooms. For Bartels, the accounts of Elmina's past revive a traumatizing story, yet the necessity of hearing these tales is not lost on him. In the days of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade the Europeans built a series of fortified trading posts & castles along the coast of West Africa. Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions, Volta Region Picture: Inside Cape Coast Castle Ghana - Check out Tripadvisor members' 49 candid photos and videos of Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions We have selected a few pictures, showing Cape Coast Castle inside. What’s more, during the British colonial period, soldier training would go on here. Its corruption to ‘Cape Coast… It’s years of this behavior where the racism people talk about today began. President Obama visited Cape Coast Castle in 2009 and there’s a plaque commemorating his visit. Watch a UNESCO documentary on the Forts and Castles on the Ghanaian Coast: Today 30-odd surviving forts, castles and former trading posts can be found along Ghana’s coast, many bearing witness to the largest (forced) migration in history and to the atrocities humanity is capable of committing. The slave shackles on display are an example of how badly slaves were treat. Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. UNESCO has declared many of these castles and forts World Heritage sites of great historical importance. Marking the beginning of the slaves’ perilous journey during the, Interior of Slave Cells - St. George's Castle - Elmina - Ghana © Adam Jones, Interior of Slave Cells - St. George's Castle - Elmina - Ghana. From the road junction, simply hail a taxi to Cape Coast Castle. Pictures of Cape Coast, capital of the Central region of Ghana, See here a old map of the Gold Coast, Slave Coast and Ivory Coast. Newly captured male slaves would be branded by a hot iron, shackled and placed in the male dungeon. Advertisement. Cape Coast Castle - Pictures Inside. The castle underwent restorations in the 1920s and 1990s and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1637, the Dutch seized control of the Gold Coast and continued to use the Elmina Castle as a place to ‘store’ slaves until their departure. For those who didn’t make it to the new world, the castles were the last place they ever saw on land. Some fantastic local markets and amazing beaches around. "...There were no toilets. When the Portuguese first arrived, their main commodity was gold, Afful explains. Cape Coast Castle, Cape Coast (1653) ‘Cabo Corso,’ meaning ‘short cape’, is the name the Portuguese settled on for the local settlement within which its trade lodge was built in 1555. Somewhat moving, these tours literally walk visitors through the history of slave castles, bringing to life the heartbreaking experiences of the slaves. However, several freed slaves did return to Monrovia and Freetown and I know in Freetown a monument for the returned slaves exists. Some fantastic local markets and amazing beaches around. However, when European powers began to invade Africa for slaves, Elmina became an essential stop on the slave route and a prison of sorts for captives. What’s more, I expect if they’d upset the Europeans in some way they would have been severely beaten first. In contrast, the Europeans are well dressed, look strong, clean and well groomed. Between 1482 and 1786, clusters of castles and forts were erected along the 500 kilometer-long coastline of Ghana between Keta in the East and Beyin in the west. Source: CNN I'm James, a solo traveler from Yorkshire, UK. All the slaves are in shackles, weak and clearly starving. I also share a little information on the terrible things that happened here throughout the slave trade. No slave ever came out of the prison cell alive. Cape Coast in Ghana's Central region. Over the decades, various parts of the Castle were rebuilt, with trade remaining its main focus. The souls that have been lost. Updated 1217 GMT (2017 HKT) July 30, 2018. Without water or sanitation, the floor of the dungeon was littered with human waste and many captives fell seriously ill. My name took me to Ghana because I knew there was Bartels here," he say in the halls of the old castle. The fort then passed through the hands of the Dutch and even a local Fetu chief at some point, before being conquered by the British in 1664. "Initially, this door was bigger. There’s a picture in the museum which for me, sums up when racism began. As early as the 1500s, the settlers’ interest turned to the slave trade in light of the growing demand for human labor in the New World (the Americas and the Caribbean). It’s very disturbing but if a slave needed the bathroom he had no choice but to go where he was chained up. In fact, they probably didn’t even know what they were waiting for. In 1957, when Ghana became the first African state to regain independence from British colonial rule, the ownership of the Cape Coast Castle was transferred to the new government and subsequently to the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. Cape Coast - See here pictures of Cape Coast and area of Cape Coast. I also share a little information on the terrible things that happened here throughout the slave trade. I love traveling and finding amazing places to photograph. Cape Coast - as seen on old postcards and photo`s. I share original photography from inside both the castle and museum. But it's good to be home," he says. They provided the last experience that men and women had in their homeland before their final departure. Stretching from Gambia over, of what is today Nigeria. As some of the slaves had never seen the sea, let alone been in a boat, some would panic and capsize their boat.
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