Cape Coast Castle, Ghana is also known as (Swedish: Carolusborg) is one in every of approximately forty “slave castles”, or massive industrial forts, constructed at the Gold Coast of West Africa (now Ghana) via way of means of European buyers.
it was, in the beginning, a Portuguese “feitoria” or u. s. keep, hooked up in 1555. However, in 1653 the Swedish Africa Company built a wooden citadel press there.
It, in the beginning, became a centre for the alternate wooden and gold. it was later applied withinside the trans-Atlantic slave visitors. Other Ghanaian slave castles encompass Elmina Castle and Fort Christiansborg.
They have been wont to maintain slaves earlier than they have been loaded onto ships and offered withinside the Americas, mainly the Caribbean. This “gate of no return” became the remaining prevent earlier than crossing the Atlantic.
Trade records Cape Coast Castle
The massive amount of gold determined in Ghana became what in main attracted Europe, and masses of natives of Cape Coast used this to their advantage.
In alternate for gold, mahogany, their very own humans and different nearby items, the natives acquired clothing, blankets, spices, sugar, silk and masses of different items. The citadel at Cape Coast became a marketplace wherein those transactions happened.
At the time enslaved Africans have been a treasured commodity withinside the Americas et al. , and slaves have been the maximum alternate Cape Coast.
Due to this, many adjustments have been made to Cape Coast Castle. one of the various changes became the addition of massive underground dungeons that could maintain as many as one thousand slaves anticipating export.
Many European countries flocked to Cape Coast in an effort to urge an aspect withinside the slave visitors. The enterprise became very competitive, which caused war and for this reason, the citadel at Cape Coast modified palms again and again for the duration of the direction of its industrial records.
In Cape Coast Castle, the underground dungeon became a place of terror, death, and blackness. This stood as a right away juxtaposition to the ECU quarters and commanding heights of whiteness above, who lived fantastically luxuriously.
The basement of this enforcing fort became frequently the remaining reminiscence slaves had in their place of birth earlier than being shipped off throughout the Atlantic, as this signified the begin in their journey.
The first citadel press hooked up in this aspect of Cape Coast Castle became constructed via way of means of Hendrik Caerloff for the Swedish Africa Company. Karloff became a former worker of the Dutch West India Company who had risen to the rank of financial earlier than using himself with the latter employer hooked up via way of means of Louis de Geer.
As a former excessive-rating officer of the Dutch, Caerloff had pleasant members of the family with the nearby chiefs essential to decide a rustic keep.
In 1650, Caerloff succeeded in getting the permission of the King of Fetu to decide a citadel press at Cabo Corso (meaning “brief cape” in Portuguese, later corrupted to English Cape Coast). the number one wooden hotel became erected on the area in 1653 and named Carolusborg after King Charles X of Sweden.
Karloff again to Europe in 1655, leaving a Swede via way of means of the call of Johann Philipp von Krusenstjerna accountable of Carolusborg. Louis de Geer had, however, died withinside the intervening time, and Caerloff were given himself concerned for the duration of a critical dispute collectively together along with his heirs.
In Amsterdam, he satisfied traders to provide a monetary injection to the Danish West India Company, that he set sail to the Gold Coast in 1657, with the purpose in thoughts to seize for Denmark the Swedish inns and forts he had hooked up himself. With the help of the Dutch, Caerloff succeeded in using the Swedes out, leaving the Gold Coast at the captured deliver Stockholm Slott, and with Von Krusenstjerna on board as a prisoner.
Karloff had left Samuel Smit, additionally a former worker of the Dutch West India Company, chargeable for Carolusborg. The Dutch have been geared up to persuade Smit in 1659 of the hearsay that Denmark was conquered via way of means of Sweden, upon which Smit rejoined the Dutch West India Company, handing over all Danish possessions to the Dutch.
The King of Fetu became displeased with this, however, and avoided the Dutch from the career of the citadel press. A yr later, the King determined to promote it to the Swedes. After the King died in 1663, the Dutch have been at the end geared up to occupy the citadel press.
The Danes had withinside the intervening time hooked up every other citadel press, Fort Frederiksborg (1661), simply multiple hundred metres east from Carolusborg. Although located flawlessly to release an assault on Carolusborg, English seize of Carolusborg (1664) for the duration of the prelude to the Second Anglo-Dutch War, avoided the Danes from tough them.
the English had bolstered the citadel press, which they named Cape Coast Castle, to such a volume that even Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter deemed it not possible to overcome.
due to the fact the Dutch had captured the preceding English headquarters at Kormantin and had rebuilt it as Fort Amsterdam, Cape Coast have become the brand new capital of English possessions at the Gold Coast.
In 1689 the pirate Duncan Mackintosh became hanged on the Castle with multiple of his team, even though he would not be the remaining pirate hanged on the citadel press. In 1722, the citadel press became the area wherein fifty-four guys of the team of the pirate Roberts have been condemned to death, of whom fifty-two have been hanged and reprieved.
In 1757, for the duration of the Seven Years’ War, a French naval squadron badly broke and almost captured Cape Coast Castle. This occasion became possibly one the various main critical motives to very well reconstruct the Castle, which became pretty infamous for its collapsing partitions and leaking roofs.
In 1762, an in-intensity spur finishing for the duration of a tower became constructed at the western aspect and in 1773, an excessive constructing alongside the north curtain became erected, for the duration of which the remaining remnants of the seventeenth-century citadel press have been demolished. Greenhill Point, a bastion to the east of the citadel, became changed via way of means of new bastions, with a sea gate withinside the middle.
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To the south, new bastions, named Grossle’s Bastions, changed a vintage spherical tower due to the principle protecting work. The tower, which now had no army use, became prolonged withinside the 1790s with memories, now turning into the governors’ apartments. The area beneath neath Grossle’s Bastions became used due to the brand new slave dungeons.
In 1824 British governor, Sir Charles MacCarthy became defeated via way of means of the Asante army, devoted suicide, and his cranium became taken returned to the Asante capital Kumasi wherein it was reportedly used as a Dixie cup.
George Maclean became President of the Committee of Merchants at Cape Coast Castle from 1830 till 1844, a duration while a President in preference to a Governor dominated British withinside the Gold Coast. In October 1836 he met the poet Letitia Landon at a ceremonial dinner at the same time as on a go to to the united kingdom.
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They married and travelled returned to Cape Coast Castle wherein, inside months, Landon died of coronary failure. Both Maclean and Landon are buried withinside the citadel courtyard. Maclean became charged with placing a give up to slave buying and selling and did so alongside three hundred km (2 hundred mi) of the West African coast. However, his popularity became muddied via way of means of his willingness to guide the possession of slaves withinside the area of Cape Coast Castle.
As such he became demoted to Judicial Assessor and maintained for his tremendous nearby understanding and dedication to alternate.
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He additionally made peace with the Ashanti (Treaty of 1831), instituted a judiciary nevertheless in use in lots of African democracies, and endorsed a hit and honest buying and selling.
From 1846-1850, Governor William Winniett became additionally lively in finishing the slave visitors. He died withinside the Fortress.
Restoration of Cape Coast Castle
The citadel, or citadel and dungeon, to provide it with its reputable call, became first restored withinside the Nineteen Twenties via way of means of British shape Department.
In 1957, while Ghana has become independent, the citadel got here below the care of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB).
withinside the early 1990s, the constructing became restored via way of means of the Ghanaian Government, with finances from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), us Agency for International Development (USAID), with technical help from the Smithsonian Institution and different NGOs.
Cape Coast Castle, and different forts and castles in Ghana, are blanketed at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.
Inside the dungeon of Cape Coast Castle, wherein many slaves have been held in cramped situations earlier than being transferred to boats sure for the occident
Cultural references of Cape Coast Castle
Homegoing via way of means of Yaa Gyasi makes common references to the Castle. The evaluation in dwelling situations among the Europeans dwelling above and consequently the slaves dwelling beneath neath are highlighted withinside the man or woman memories of half-sisters, Effia and Esi, for the duration of their time on the citadel. While Effia lives in luxury, Esi suffers withinside the squalid dwelling situations withinside the dungeons beneath neath unbeknownst to her half-sister.
In 2015, the Zamani Project documented Cape Coast Castle with terrestrial 3-D laser scanning. The non-income studies organization specialises in 3-D virtual documentation of actual cultural heritage.
The information generated via way of means of the Zamani Project creates an everlasting file for you to be used for studies, education, restoration, and conservation. A 3-D version and a landscape excursion of Cape Coast Castle are to be had on www.zamaniproject.org. An animation of the 3-D version is offered here.
Questions from Readers
What became Cape Coast Castle used for?
Cape Coast Castle can be a European-constructed fort located at the crucial shoreline of Ghana. Since its preliminary production in 1652, the Castle served as a rustic keep for European countries and due to the headquarters of British colonial management for the Gold Coast Colony.
How many slaves surpassed via Cape Coast Castle?
Up to 1,000 male and 500 lady slaves have been shackled and stuffed withinside the citadel’s dank, poorly ventilated dungeons, without an area to lie and certainly little mild. Without water or sanitation, the floor of the dungeon became stricken by frame waste and masses of captives fell severely ill. the boys have been separated from the ladies, and consequently, the captors often raped the helpless ladies.
The citadel additionally featured confinement cells — small pitch-black areas for prisoners who revolted or have been visible as rebellious. Once the slaves set foot withinside the citadel, they may spend up to three months in captivity below those dreadful situations earlier than being shipped off to the New World.
Surroundings of harsh contrasts, the citadel additionally had a few extravagant chambers, barren of the stench and distress of the dungeons, just a few meters beneath neath. for instance, the British governor and officers’ quarters have been spacious and airy, with lovely parquet flooring and scenic perspectives of the blue waters of Atlantic. There became additionally a chapel withinside the citadel enclosure for the officers, buyers and their households as they went approximately their ordinary daily lifestyles absolutely indifferent from the unfathomable human struggling they have been consciously inflicting.
Why did Cape Coast Castle construct?
Cape Coast Castle (Swedish: Carolusborg) is one in every of approximately forty “slave castles”, or massive industrial forts, constructed at the Gold Coast of West Africa (now Ghana) via way of means of European buyers. it was, in the beginning, a Portuguese “feitoria” or u. s. keep, hooked up in 1555. … It, in the beginning, became a centre for the alternate wooden and gold.
What is the name of Cape Coast Castle?
Carlousburg, Its corruption to ‘Cape Coast’ is now the standard call of the capital of the Central Region of Ghana. The Swedes, led via way of means of Krusenstjerna, however, have been the initiators of the everlasting shape currently called Cape Coast Castle. They constructed a citadel press in 1653 and named it Carlousburg, after King Charles X of Sweden.
Another well-known slave citadel is that the Elmina Castle (frequently referred to as St. George’s Castle), located withinside the metropolis of Elmina approximately thirteen kilometres from the Cape Coast Castle. called the oldest European shape in Ghana, the citadel’s production commenced in 1482 following the appearance of the Portuguese at the Gold Coast in 1471 and served to defend the Portuguese agreement area, named São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mines).
Over the decades, diverse elements of the Castle have been rebuilt, with alternate ultimate its primary focus. However, via way of means of the seventeenth century, the maximum of this alternate became in humans. In 1637, the Dutch seized manipulate of the Gold Coast and persisted to apply the Elmina Castle as a place to ‘keep’ slaves till their departure.
The Dutch made a few enormous adjustments to the Castle, like solving a market wherein slaves is probably auctioned. The situations have been nearly like that of the neighbouring Cape Coast Castle. withinside the dungeons mild may want to handiest input via the doors or multiple small holes at both give up of the ceiling. Any rebellion became harshly disciplined.
Men have been despatched to the condemned molecular without a lighting fixture and have been starved to death, at the same time as ladies have been crushed and chained to cannonballs withinside the courtyard. Mindful of viable attacks, the Dutch constructed a bastion, Fort Coenraadsburg (additionally called St. Jago), on Capitol Hill contrary Elmina Castle, which not noted its massive brother’s residence of horrors.
Under the guideline of thumb of the Dutch West Indies Company, round 30,000 slaves a yr professional Elmina’s door of no return, proper up till 1814 while the Dutch slave visitors became abolished, seven years after British. Ceded to British in 1872, Elmina Castle became hardly ever in use till Ghana’s independence. Thereafter it has become a schooling centre for Ghanaian police recruits and pretty a school for some time, earlier than additionally being transformed right into a records museum.
Other castles and forts that continue to encompass Fort Christiansborg (or Osu Castle), the Ussher Fort and Fort James. Besides museums, a few fortresses are converted into authorities offices, prisons, and guesthouses at the same time as others are not anything pretty deserted stone ruins with multiple partitions standing. UNESCO has declared a lot of the one’s castles and forts World Heritage web sites of brilliant ancient importance. However, way too restricted funding, the renovation has been restricted and consequently the web web sites nevertheless deteriorate.
Today 30-strange surviving forts, castles and previous buying and selling posts are frequently determined alongside Ghana’s coast, many testifying to the maximum critical (forced) migration in records and to the atrocities humanity is able to commit. Castles like Elmina, Cape Coast and Ussher Fort are come to be museums and provide guided excursions. Somewhat moving, those excursions actually stroll traffic via the records of slave castles, bringing to lifestyles the heartbreaking stories of the slaves.
Extremely famous amongst African American travellers who need to are seeking for out extra approximately their heritage, in recent times the castles are also welcoming an increasing number of nearby Ghanaians curious approximately gaining knowledge of approximately the slave duration of their u. s .. pretty simply museums, those castles are stuffed with haunting histories, revealing the horrors of the slave visitors. By serving as a robust reminder of Ghana’s darkish records, the castles nevertheless pay connection with the various humans that languished on the palms of slavers. they are away from forgotten, even withinside the twenty-first century.
Charges for Cape Coast Castle
|Visitor Category||Entrance Fee*|
|Pupils from Primary to JHS 3||GH¢ 25|
|SHS Students||GH¢ 25|
|Tertiary Students with ID||GH¢ 25|
|Ghanaian Adults||GH¢ 40|
|Foreign Children||USD 4.00 or it is equal in Ghana cedis|
|Foreign Students with ID||USD 4.00 or it is equal in Ghana cedis|
|Adult Foreigners||USD 7.00 or it’s far equal in Ghana cedis|
Contact Details of Cape Coast Castle
Central and Western Region
Cape Coast Castle
Tel +233-3321 32529
The museum is open from 9:00 to 16:30 each day.