Forts and Castles in Ghana: Fort Prinzenstein
Fort Pinzenstein, found in Keta, in the Volta Region of Ghana, was built by the Danish traders in 1784 as part of their effort to protect their slave-trading business. The Fort is one of the very few built outside the Central and Greater Accra region by the European slave traders.
Built by the Danish, the main purpose of the Fort back then was to protect the Danish traders from the local Anlo people who were indigenes of the town. The Danes and the local people were engaged in a brutal war over trade-related issues, in which the Anlos were alleged to have looted from the Danish agent stationed on the Coast. The Danish government did not take this lightly and formed an army comprising of sworn foes of Anlo including the Krobos and Gas to attack Keta.
During the 1700s, the fight for territorial control of Africa among the European nations was at its peak, every nation wanted to have control over important trading areas. The Danes realized putting up a Fort in Keta could help cement their territorial control of the area and keep away other colonial powers.
However, after the war, the Fort was used more as a Dungeon where slaves were held for weeks and months before being transported to Europe and the Americas.
In 1803, the Danes sold the Fort and the rest of their territories to the British who had by then managed to gain territorial control over most part of the Gold Coast.
The Fort was finally handed over to the government of Ghana in 1957 upon the declaration of the end of colonial rule and independence of Ghana. Fort Prinzenstein has in recent decades undergone a lot of erosion due to its location, with the sea gradually washing away the once-famous Fort that reminded the people of their colonial past.