cape coast castle history

One of the alterations was the addition of large underground dungeons that could hold as many as a thousand slaves awaiting export. [15][16] The non-profit research group specialises in 3D digital documentation of tangible cultural heritage. Although situated perfectly to launch an attack on Carolusborg, the English capture of Carolusborg (1664) during the prelude to the Second Anglo-Dutch War, prevented the Danes from challenging them; the English had reinforced the fort, which they named Cape Coast Castle, to such an extent that even Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter deemed it impossible to conquer. In Amsterdam, he convinced merchants to give a financial injection to the Danish West India Company, for which he set sail to the Gold Coast in 1657, with the goal in mind to capture for Denmark the Swedish lodges and forts he had established himself. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. [6] The Dutch were able to convince Smit in 1659 of the rumour that Denmark had been conquered by Sweden, upon which Smit rejoined the Dutch West India Company, handing over all Danish possessions to the Dutch. Box 281 Cape Coast, Ghana / West Africa + Dep. All Forts and Castles of Ghana - Info`s & pictures, please visit our main page "Forts and Castles of Ghana". The 2016 novel Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi makes frequent references to the Castle. Consider supporting our work by becoming a member for as little as $5 a month. Cape Coast Castle Cape Coast Castle, and Forts William, Victoria, and McCarthy, Gold Coast, mid-19th century. [Drawings of Western Africa, University of Virginia Library, Special Collections, MSS 14357, no 7] Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, 1999. It was snatched by the Danish West India Company in 1657, and seized back and forth between the Danish, Dutch, and Swedes, competitors in the growing slave economy. In 2015, the Zamani Project documented Cape Coast Castle with terrestrial 3D laser scanning. Possession of it was stolen back and forth as the slave trade grew bigger and more lucrative in the 1600s and 1700s. © 2020 Atlas Obscura. [9] In 1722, the fort was the site where 54 men of the crew of the pirate Bartholomew Roberts were condemned to death, of whom 52 were hanged and two reprieved. Halik Kochanski Sir Garnet Wolseley: Victorian Hero 1999 - Page 61 1852851880 "The British governor, Sir James McCarthy, was defeated by the Asante army, committed suicide, and his skull was sent back to the Asante capital Kumasi where it was used as a drinking cup.1", United States Agency for International Development, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, digital documentation of tangible cultural heritage, "Cape Coast Castle - Castles, Palaces and Fortresses", "Ghana's Slave Castles: The Shocking Story of the Ghanaian Cape Coast", "Meet the scientists immortalizing African heritage in virtual reality", "An African heritage database, the virtual preservation of Africa's past", British Slave Castle, Cape Coast Photo Gallery,, 1653 establishments in the Swedish colonial empire, Articles containing Swedish-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2018, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from May 2018, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The space below Grossle's Bastions was used as the new slave dungeons.[12]. The Castle is open, daily from 9 - 17.00 (included bank holidays). Both Maclean and Landon are buried in the castle courtyard. Learn more, than just text book education! To the south, two new bastions, named Grossle's Bastions, replaced an old round tower as the main defensive work. Maclean was charged with putting an end to slave trading and did so along 300 km (200 mi) of the West African coast. However, in 1653 the Swedish Africa Company constructed a timber fort there. [5], Caerloff had left Samuel Smit, also a former employee of the Dutch West India Company, in charge of Carolusborg. This series of rope-style bridges brings visitors into a jungle layer that is usually reserved for birds and monkeys. Business was very competitive, which led to conflict and for this reason the castle at Cape Coast changed hands many times during the course of its commercial history. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). After the King died in 1663, the Dutch were finally able to occupy the fort. Offer subject to change without notice. Osei-Tutu, Brepong (2004), "African American reactions to the restoration of Ghana's 'slave castles' ", in: This page was last edited on 27 October 2020, at 23:41. Travel time will probably be between three to four hours. [6], The Danes had in the meantime established another fort, Fort Frederiksborg (1661), just a few hundred metres east from Carolusborg. [13] George Maclean was President of the Committee of Merchants at Cape Coast Castle from 1830 until 1844, a period when a President rather than a Governor ruled the British in the Gold Coast. The ruins of this medieval castle on a foggy hill tell the story of a once-mighty empire. In 1957, when Ghana became independent, the castle came under the care of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB). Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. The contrast in living conditions between the Europeans living above and the slaves living below are highlighted in the individual stories of two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, during their time at the castle. 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[1] Other Ghanaian slave castles include Elmina Castle and Fort Christiansborg. [4] The first timber lodge was erected at the site in 1653 and named Carolusborg after King Charles X of Sweden. An other 51 years of suffering under official slavery where yet to come. Its corruption to ‘Cape Coast’ is now the accepted name of the capital of the Central Region of Ghana. One of the most well known parts of Cape Coast Castle, that you can visit today, is the “Door of No Return,” which led slaves out of the castle and onto the ships setting off on the Middle Passage. It was later used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Thousands of enslaved Africans from regions near and far, sometimes hundreds of miles away, were taken to these castles to be sold to slave ships. Inside one of the castle's dungeons, where slaves were kept. How a trading post for gold, wood and textiles before became a hub for the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The history of the castle, which could also be termed a fort, is predictably complicated and contentious. In 1650, Swede Hendrik Caerloff finagled the King of Fetu’s permission to build a fort, and in 1653, Carlusborg Fort was erected. It originally was a centre for the trade in timber and gold. This monument is a stark reminder of the horrors of the Zanzibar slave trade. The King of Fetu was displeased with this, however, and prevented the Dutch from taking possession of the fort. The basement of this imposing fortress was often the last memory slaves had of their homeland before being shipped off across the Atlantic, as this signified the beginning of their journey.[3]. The first timber construction on the site was erected in 1653 for the Swedish Africa Company and named Carolusborg after King Charles X of Sweden. No purchase necessary. It is well worth a visit to remind each of us of the many corners of the globe involved in the former slave trade—and a reminder that many more such corners still exist. As such he was demoted to Judicial Assessor and maintained for his extensive local knowledge and commitment to trade. The castle, or castle and dungeon, to give it its official name, was first restored in the 1920s by the British Public Works Department. In October 1836 he met the poet Letitia Landon at a dinner party while on a visit to the UK. The world’s largest digital waste dump has become a site where organized criminals hack into confidential government data. Then, moments later, you’ll be out of the dungeons and wandering by the church or strolling down long hallways leading to officer’s quarters with pleasant views over the sea—two adjacent spaces set entire worlds apart. The origins of a large, medieval castle are shrouded in mystery, but now it's a delightful garden. Auction market for African Slaves in America. However his reputation was muddied by his willingness to support the ownership of slaves within the vicinity of Cape Coast Castle. An animation of the 3D model is available here. As a former high-ranking officer of the Dutch, Caerloff had the friendly relations with the local chiefs necessary to establish a trading post. [7] As the Dutch had captured the former English headquarters at Kormantin and had rebuilt it as Fort Amsterdam, Cape Coast became the new capital of the English possessions on the Gold Coast.[8]. Welcome to Cape Coast & Cape Coast Castle. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. The first fort established on the present site of Cape Coast Castle was built by Hendrik Caerloff for the Swedish Africa Company. Cape Coast Castle, and other forts and castles in Ghana, are included on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List. Apter, Andrew. They were used to hold slaves before they were loaded onto ships and sold in the Americas, especially the Caribbean.

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