Cape Coast Slave Castle

ancestral dna test in Ghana
Ancestral/Genealogical DNA test in Ghana
February 20, 2020
Travel Advisory to Ghana
March 15, 2020

Cape Coast Slave Castle

cape coast

cape coast castle

The Cape Coast Slave Castle, situated in Cape Coast, Ghana, holds great historical significance. Constructed by European traders in the 17th century, the Cape Coast Slave Castle served as a trading post for the enslavement of individuals from West Africa. Before being transported to the Americas, enslaved people were held within its walls. Today, the  Cape Coast Slave Castle stands as a museum, serving as a powerful reminder of the transatlantic slave trade and its profound impact on West Africa.

Initially built by the Swedish Africa Company in 1653, the Cape Coast Slave Castle was later acquired by the Dutch and British. This fort played a dual role as it not only held enslaved Africans before their journey across the Atlantic but also served as a trading hub for valuable commodities such as gold and ivory.

Presently, the castle stands as a museum and memorial honoring the millions of Africans who were forcibly enslaved and transported across the ocean. Its UNESCO World Heritage Site status underlines the castle’s importance in acknowledging the dark history of slavery in West Africa.

Ghana’s rocky coastline facilitated the construction of over 40 forts and three slave castles, attracting various European nations such as the Portuguese, Dutch, British, Germans, Swedes, and Danes for trade. Among these, Cape Coast Castle was the final castle built along the Gold Coast. Despite its relatively smaller size, it played a significant role in the transatlantic slave trade, exclusively serving this purpose. Erected by the British circa 1665, this structure witnessed the internment of a larger number of enslaved Africans awaiting shipment compared to other castles.

During peak seasons, the Cape Coast Castle could accommodate up to 1,200 enslaved Africans, primarily comprising men aged 12 and older up to approximately 45 years. The dungeons within the castle were exceptionally dark, causing partial blindness among the incarcerated individuals who endured stays lasting from two weeks to three months before departure. Disturbingly, about one-third of enslaved Africans perished within these dungeons, their bodies disposed of in the sea.

Rebellious enslaved Africans faced a grim fate, confined to the condemned cell. This pitch-black cell lacked windows or any source of light or ventilation, and spending just 24 hours within its confines meant certain death. Its purpose was to eliminate slaves swiftly. Additionally, the male slave dungeon contained a tunnel used for transferring captives to smaller boats, which would transport them to larger ships upon the arrival of a slave vessel.

Today, the Cape Coast Castle stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcoming visitors and serving as one of Ghana’s most popular tourist attractions. It gained international attention when Barack Obama visited in 2009. If you plan to visit Ghana, be sure to include this historically significant site in your itinerary. Eyali Tours offers tours to the castle, and you can reach out to us via email or by completing the contact form provided.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *