Travel to Elmina – Elmina Castle and Fort St Jago
Elmina is a town situated on Ghana’s south coast, located west of Cape Coast. It was the first European settlement in West Africa. Elmina is home to both the famous Elmina Castle and Fort St Jago – built by the Dutch in 1666. Several Asafo shrines and a lagoon are also of interest. Today the main industry in the town is fishing.
Originally the town grew around São Jorge da Mina Castle, built by the Portuguese Diogo de Azambuja in 1482, and was Portugal’s West African headquarters for trade and exploitation of African wealth.
The original Portuguese interest was gold but this later expanded to include tens of thousands of slaves channeled through the trading post. The location of Elmina made it a significant site for reprovisioning ships headed south towards the Cape of Good Hope on their way to India.
The Dutch West India Company captured the town in 1637. Later, in subsequent centuries, it was primarily used for the slave trade. The city remained in Dutch hands until 1872, when it was sold to the English.
Elmina Castle and Fort St. Jago have both been declared World Heritage sites and are a ‘must-see’ for any visitor to Ghana.
Watch sunrise from the tower of Fort St. Jago or visit the beach to watch the local fishermen going about their daily activities.
There are a variety of restaurants within the town’s hotels or dine in the restaurant on the castle ramparts.