Cape Coast - City of Education and History

Cape Coast is now the capital of the Central Region. In the early colonial period, however, it served the British as the capital of the entire Gold Coast Colony. The heritage of the western imprint is still strong and Cape is probably the "westernmost" city in the country. In addition to the nearby tourist highlights such as Cape Coast Castle, Elmina or Kakum National Park, the fact that numerous NGOs have settled here is that you meet Europeans here much more often than in other corners of the country. With a population of just under 170,000, Cape Coast is definitely a big city but still quite cozy. Especially in the center with the tourist attractions, good restaurants and extensive shopping facilities including the market, everything is quite close to each other and so the city is easy to explore on foot.
In addition to the main attraction – Cape Coast Castle – it is also worth visiting Fort William on Dawson's Hill. It was built in 1820 with the name Smith's Tower, but was rebuilt in the 1830s and used as a lighthouse under a new name. From up here you have a completely different view of the city. A little curious here is that some rooms of the tower are probably also inhabited and you pass on the way to the highest point on clotheslines (sometimes laundry is also for drying on the still existing cannons) and people pass during the brushing of teeth.
The history of the city is impressive. Initially it was a small fishing village until the Portuguese settled here on their exploration trips on the West African coast and called the place "Cabo Corso" (short cape), from which the current name derives. As a result, the town developed into an important trading center and a city, which in its history was also under Dutch, Swedish and Danish influence before the British finally took root here. Among those, Cape Coast also became the "educational capital", a reputation that it has received to this day because important local people were trained here. Out of this tradition, a university or Cape Coast Polytechnic was founded in Cape. In particular the training of teachers has always played a very important role here.

Cape Coast Castle

On the Ghanaian coast there are about 40 more or less well-preserved forts as remnants of European history on this stretch of coast. Cape Coast Castle is certainly one of the most famous of them. This is due in part to its location in Cape, which as described above is a popular pavement for tourists and other foreign visitors. But it is also one of the most preserved and developed castles today. In 1979, a museum was established here, which, in addition to the actual history of Cape Coast Castle, also deals with the history of the country of Ghana. This place is also somewhat symbolic of the history of all forts on the Ghanaian coast. Similarly, for example, then-US President Barack Obama visited the castle in 2009, which is reminiscent of a prominently placed plaque.
The special relationship of the black population of America stems from the bleak chapter that virtually all castles on the former Gold Coast share, and which is also an important part of the history of Cape Coast Castle. Here, countless Africans saw their homeland for the last time before they were enslaved and shipped to America. The walk through the "Door of no Return" formed the basis for some family stories of today's Americans. An arrival on the new continent was never taken for granted. The conditions on the ships were catastrophic, but no less the conditions in the castles. The "Slave Dungeons" also to be visited at Cape Coast Castle today were largely completely overcrowded, the supply was poor and the need was inevitably done in the same rooms where food and slept were done. This abyss of humanity is shown very clearly during a walk through the cellars of the castle and always casts a great shadow on a place that is actually so beautiful.