About the Castle: Cape Coast Castle is one of Ghana’s Slave Castle which was built on the Gold Coast by Swedes for trade of Timber and Gold with a church also built within the castle. The Castle was then later used for the slave trade. For those who don’t know how slave castles were used, they were used for keeping African Slaves locked away after they were captured and held there until sold to the Americans. Some slaves were held there until death if they were not sold. The castle also had a Cell for the Slaves who fought or tried to escape.The female and male slaves were divided into separate dungeons as you will see from my pictures below. Each dungeon was dark, cold and with no lights, toilets or bed to sleep on. They had to sleep and go to the bathroom in the same area so you could imagine the torture they gone through. Slavery was and is one of the many horrible acts of cruelty by human beings. I started learning and reading about slavery from a very young age but when you enter one of the slave castles everything you read about or learned about then feels more real when you see where these poor souls were held and even died. The castle definitely had a cold hunted feel and as you are walking around and feeling and seeing how dark and cold the dungeons are you start to feel more emotional and realise just how horrific it really would have been for these innocent people. People say slavery is a thing of the past and should be left there, but for me, i like to educated people or tell people the stories of slavery and let it never be forgotten because although slavery was abolished i feel the innocent souls who died and were enslaved should never be forgotten and we should remember how lucky we were and still are…to not have faced the same thing they did.
On my third day in Ghana i reached Cape Coast and of course it was a must to visit Cape Coast Castle not only because i am a huge fan of history but also because it is a beautiful castle despite the deep dark history that lies here.
I took a bus that dropped me off some minuets away from the castle so my sister and i walked to the castle and saw some lovely sights along the way. Below is a picture of the beautiful church just outside of the castle.
We also met some lovely people outside of the castle including a girl carrying water on her head who was interested to know what brought us to Ghana. She also insisted that my sister carried her bucket on her head which was quiet funny to see my sister carrying something with her head haha
The Front of the Castle
As we entered the castle there is a shop/market area where you can buy souvineers and different types of things including clothing. I Bought a beautiful Kente dress from one of the shops. We then reached the counter where you will pay for your ticket and also pay to take your camera in with you. 1 camera per group or person if you are alone.
We were then joined with a group of other tourists and guided around the castle with a tour guide who tells everyone the story of the castle and what happened in each room of the castle etc. I took some videos while in the castle while the tour guide was telling the stories of the castle. I will upload them to my blog later for people to see.
The picture above of cannon balls is what were used when intruders tried to intrude the castle or take over the gold coast. The cannon balls were shot at their ships to bring them down and stop them from entering.
As i mentioned before, the Cells were used to keep what they called “stubborn Slaves”. Slaves who fought to free themselves or to free their wife’s/children. They were locked inside this cell as punishment as if they were not being punished enough! the cell was extremely small and dark.
My sister and I inside the castle
The Female Slave Dungeon – The dent in the middle of the ground was their “toilet” – in the same area they would sleep. All human wastage would flow down this area out into the Ocean. Leaving the innocent souls to either die through sickness, Disease or malnutrition if they were not shipped out and sold before then. The lights in the dungeon was only later installed when slavery was abolished – For tourism.
View from the top floor of the castle.
The Door of no return – The door that led the slaves to the ships where they were then transported to the Americans.
The Door of Return
The Door of no return was of course because they would never return to Africa, but later the other side of the door was named “The door of return” apparently it was for those lucky enough to return – I’m not 100% sure if this is correct i am just speaking based on the information given by the tour guide.
As you can see, Cape Coast Castle is just one of many slave castles and is a huge tourist attraction in Ghana. I definitely recommend that everyone who visits Ghana should stop by Cape Coast and visit on of Africa’s many slave castles. You will leave feeling emotionally attached to Africa if you are not already. Don’t forget to show your respect when visiting and take a moment to remember the lost innocent souls not only of Ghana but of all those who died and suffered during the slave trade!