Cape Coast – the capital of the Central Region of Ghana and the main city of the Fanti people. The city is located 165 km west of Accra. Its twin town Elmina is situated less than 15km apart.
The original settlement of the castle was a small lodge built by the Portuguese called Cabo Corço. Cape Coast Castle has seen many occupations by numerous foreign powers. In 1652, it was found abandoned and occupied by the Swedes who in 1657 built Fort Carolusborg. In 1663, it was captured by the Dutch, then recaptured by the English in 1664 and again improved and enlarged in 1673. In 1681 it was attacked by the people of the town, and subsequently bombarded by the French fleet in 1703 and also in 1757. It was the object of the Anglo Dutch rivalry and hostilities during that period. Its rebuilding in 1757 was undertaken by the Royal African Company, one of the three principal English trading companies formed to trade in the Gold Coast among others.
The Castle was built as a fort for the trade in timber and gold, later it was used in the trans- Atlantic slave trade. Cape Coast Castle, through which millions of slaves were shipped to the Caribbean and the Americas, became the seat of British colonial administration until 1877 when government offices moved to Christiansborg Castle in Accra. As a result of the European influence here, two significant contributions were made that are still evident today: the spread of Christianity in the country and the establishment of the first formal education system through Castle Schools. Cape Coast Castle is described as one of the six most beautiful in existence today. It now houses the Cape Coast Castle Museum and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cape Coast is a fascinating town to explore, its relative antiquity reflected not only in an endlessly surprising range of architectural styles spanning three centuries, but also in the organic shape of the old town, with roads hugging the curves of low hills. Cape Coast is steeped in history.
Attraction nearby: Elmina Castle, Kakum National Park