Sights in Elmina

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entry of St. George d'Elmina Castle

entry of St. George d'Elmina Castle

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Castle St George d'Elmina

On 19th January 1482, 600 men lead by Don Diego d'Azambuja arrived in Elmina in twelve ships from Portugal to build the George's Castle. The site was strategically chosen at the rough cliffs at the tip of a peninsula bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Benya lagoon, creating natural protection while providing sheltered anchorage. In its earliest form it was a small rectangular fortress, while the modern fort is estimated to cover at least ten times the surface of the original. The most important extensions took place in the mid 17th Century when the Dutch had gained possession of the Castle.

In those days one could regard the castle as a small trading town, run as 'a ship at permanent anchor'. The castle grounds comprised living quarters, a chapel, an officer's mess, an auction hall and storage rooms all situated around an extensive courtyard. A limited number of soldiers and merchants would live there at any time, in addition up to 1,000 slaves would be kept in the slave dungeons awaiting the arrival of the next ship.

Fort St. Jago

It was from St. Jago Hill that the Dutch were finally successful in forcing a Portugese surrender in 1637. To prevent enemies from playing a similar trick on them, in 1666 they erected a fortified garrison post, named Fort Coenraadsburg, but commonly known as Fort St. Jago. This fort was used for military purpose only, it had no commercial warehouses, but contained quarters for officers and soldiers who came on rotation duty from the castle.

Dutch Cemetery

The old Dutch Cemetery in Elmina town dates back to 1806. Towards the end of the 18th century, the officials and merchants of Elmina Castle used the Garden ('de Tuin'), the green space north of the Benya Lagoon, for growing vegetables and fruit for the population and passing ships. Until then, the Europeans had buried their dead inside the castle or just outside the castle walls. Space was running out and in 1806 it was therefore decided to move the European cemetery into the Garden of Elmina. The cemetery is surrounded by a wall and number of big silk cotton trees, which are well over a century old. In the middle stand a vault with an obelisk on top, dating back to 1806 too, in which a number of former governors and eminent Elminans and the Elmina King, Nana Kobena Isyan are buried.

Elmina Town

Many tourist visit the UNESCO world-heritage list protected St. George's Castle and the Fort Coenraadsburg, the main cultural heritage attractions in the area. These historical buildings have played significant roles in the interaction of Elmina and Ghana with European countries. Other historic tourist attractions in the town such as St. Joseph's Catholic Church building, St. Anne's Convent, the Methodist Chapel, Asafo Posts, and numerous historic merchant houses, rarely feature on the tourist's itinerary but are also worth visiting.

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St. Joseph Catholic Church

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Hi, I am looking for a priest by the name Rev. Fr. Peter Adoko-Enchill at St. Joseph Parish. Elmina, Ghana, West Africa. I mail him a letter in December 2006 and did not hear from him. Would like the phone number for St. Joseph Parish so I can call. Thank you for your help.



type:Churches and Cathedrals
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