Tourist Sites in Ghana: Elmina Castle
Established by the Portuguese in 1482 as the São Jorge da Mina, which literary means St. George of the Mine, was one of the camping bases during the slave trade which occurred in the Gold Coast (Ghana).
Despite being built by the Portuguese, the castle was later taken over by the Dutch who eventually relinquished it to the British.
The Elmina Castle ever since Ghana’s independence in 1957 has served as a tourist site. Most people visit the site to see one of the major trading centers of slaves in Africa.
According to history, the main reason why the castle was built along the coast was to ensure effective slave trading, acting as a depot where slaves were brought in from different Kingdoms in West Africa.
The Portuguese, Dutch and British who were effectively involved in the slave trade constructed a Gun Defence spot at the Elmina Castle to ward off any attacks from the enemy.
One of the most memorable places at the Elmina Castle is the “door of no return”, previously the Slave Export Gate, which served as the channel or space where the slaves were usually transported through. In most cases, one will not return as soon as he or she goes through the door of no return until he or she reaches the exact destination being transported to.
The government of Ghana together with the tourism Ministry saw the need to keep the place as an attractive tourist site hence embarking on a renovation exercise in 2006 to revamp the edifice.
It is believed that Elmina, which is a fishing community, is highly sustained by tourism due to the existence of the Castle.
In addition it has served as a place of pilgrimage for many African Americans seeking to connect with their long lost heritage.
Some notable places one can identify at the Elmina Castle includes the Castle Interior View of Church, Castle Interior, Castle Male and Female Slave Entrances and Castle Slave Holding Cell.
Elmina is 3 hours away from Ghana’s capital Accra by land, with the castle located close to the city center of Elmina.