2 Heritage Sites to Visit In Ghana

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2 Heritage Sites to Visit In Ghana

Date: Jun 9, 2023
Author: Collins.cidar 813 No Comments

On your last adventure, you were down in the dumps and perhaps you are looking for a place to make you jump for joy. Well we got you, Let take you to the Gulf of Guinea, a country call Ghana in the West Africa. Ghana is a country with a proof of Africa’s true story, congested with heavy cultural heritage and an amazing site-discovering features that will knock you down with a feather. Have you thought about going to see Asante Traditional Buildings which is the last testimony of Asante civilization in northeast of Kumasi, or Swing the Fort and Castle trade post in Accra, spanning a distance of more than 400km built by the Portuguese in early era is the world during the great maritime exploration. No one goes to Ghana without coming back on a second time. That is why you have made all these provisions on our list to make your you have a splendid time out there.

Asante Traditional Buildings

Asante Traditional Buildings/Photographer:Carsten ten Brink/Flickr

Near Kumasi, a group of traditional buildings are the last remaining testimony of the great Asante civilization, which reached its peak in the 18th century. The buildings include ten shrines/fetish houses (Abirim, Asawase, Asenemaso, Bodwease, Ejisu Besease, Adarko Jachie, Edwenase, Kentinkrono, Patakro and Saaman). Most are to the north-east of Kumasi, and Patakro, to the south.

Arranged around courtyards, the buildings are constructed of timber, bamboo and mud plaster and originally had thatched roofs. The unique decorative bas-reliefs that adorn the walls are bold and depict a wide variety of motifs. Common forms include spiral and arabesque details with representations of animals, birds and plants, linked to traditional “Adinkra” symbols. As with other traditional art forms of the Asante, these designs are not merely ornamental, they also have symbolic meanings, associated with the ideas and beliefs of the Asante people, and have been handed down from generation to generation.

The buildings, their rich colour, and the skill and diversity of their decorations are the last surviving examples of a significant traditional style of architecture that epitomized the influential, powerful and wealthy Asante Kingdom of the late 18th to late 19th centuries. Asante Traditional Buildings reflect and reinforce a complex and intricate technical, religious and spiritual heritage.

The traditional religion, still practiced in the Asante shrines, takes the form of consulting with the deities to seek advice on specific situations, or before an important initiative. That is why the shrines have been maintained complete with all their symbolic features.

Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions

Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions/ Photographer:Adam Jones/Flickr

These fortified trading posts, founded between 1482 and 1786, and spanning a distance of approximately 500 km along the coast of Ghana between Keta in the east and Beyin in the west, were links in the trading routes established by the Portuguese in many areas of the world during their era of great maritime exploration. The castles and forts were built and occupied at different times by traders from Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany and Britain. They served the gold trade of European chartered companies. Latterly they played a significant part in the developing slave trade, and therefore in the history of the Americas, and, subsequently, in the 19th century, in the suppression of that trade.

The property consists of three Castles (Cape Coast, St. George’s d’Elmina and Christiansborg at Osu, Accra), 15 Forts (Good Hope at Senya Beraku; Patience at Apam; Amsterdam at Abandzi; St. Jago at Elmina; San Sebastian at Shama; Metal Cross at Dixcove;  St. Anthony at Axim; Orange at Sekondi; Groot Fredericksborg at Princesstown; William (Lighthouse) at Cape Coast; William at Anomabu;  Victoria at Cape Coast;  Ussher at Usshertown,  Accra; James at Jamestown, Accra and Apollonia at Beyin), four Forts partially in ruins (Amsterdam at Abandzi;  English Fort at British  Komenda; Batenstein at Butre; Prinzensten at Keta), four ruins with visible structures (Nassau at Mouri; Fredensborg at Old Ningo; Vredenburg at Dutch Komenda; Vernon at Prampram and Dorothea at Akwida) and two sites with traces of former fortifications (Frederiksborg at Amanful, Cape Coast and Augustaborg at Teshie, Accra).

The basic architectural design of the Forts was in the form of a large square or rectangle. The outer components consisted of four bastions/batteries or towers located at the corners, while the inner components consisted of buildings of two or three storeys with or without towers, in addition to an enclosure, courtyard or a spur. Many have been altered, during their use by successive European powers, and some survive only as ruins.

St. George’s d’Elmina Castle, built in 1482, is one of the oldest European buildings outside Europe, and the historic town of Elmina is believed to be the location of the first point of contact between Europeans and sub-Saharan Africans. 

The castles and forts constituted for more than four centuries a kind of ‘shopping street’ of West Africa to which traders of Europe’s most important maritime nations came to exchange their goods for those of African traders, some of whom came from very far in the interior.

They can be seen as a unique “collective historical monument”: a monument not only to the evils of the slave trade, but also to nearly four centuries of pre-colonial Afro-European commerce on the basis of equality rather than on that of the colonial basis of inequality.  They represent, significantly and emotively, the continuing history of European-African encounter over five centuries and the starting point of the African Diaspora.

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