Elmina is the first European trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea and claimed to be the oldest European building South of the Sahara. It was near a region were Africans had mined for gold for many years. These Imperialist forces were initially drawn to the region's abundance of gold, textiles, and ivory. 2019 marked the passing of 400 years since the first slave ship departed from the Gold Coast, now known as Ghana. Powered by Every Castle - All From 1637 onward, Elmina Castle became the central hub for the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, enabling the Dutch to easily export enslaved people to Brazil and the Caribbean. It was The British used the fort as a garrison for its soldiers during World Wars I & II. Connected to this hellish waiting room was another smaller room containing the "Door of No Return." After they took over control of the castle the Dutch enlarged it and © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. After the independence of Ghana, from 1957 Elima was used as a school and a restored it. We had a good guided tour around Elmina Slave Castle. google_color_text = "000000"; google_ad_channel =""; Building at the castle commenced in 1482 and was finished in 1486. Soldiers would also revolt against their commanders through acts of insubordination and were subjected to solitary confinement as well. After the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was abolished in 1814, Elmina Castle became a costly asset for the Dutch, who relinquished control of Elmina Castle and its surrounding area to the British in 1872. It was founded by Portugal in 1482, taken over by the Dutch in the 17th century and by … google_color_border = "FFFFFF"; google_ad_client = "pub-5387217387406024"; control of it. Entrance fee is $7 for a answer! Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. until slave trading was abolished. Roughly 30,000 Africans were imprisoned and sold every single year until 1814, when the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was abolished. center until 1814 when the Dutch abolished the slave trade. From 1637 onward, Elmina Castle became the central hub for the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, enabling the Dutch to easily export enslaved people to Brazil and the Caribbean. The General would then signal to his subordinates which female slave he wanted to sexually assault. Heritage site. The Portuguese-built Elmina Castle was purchased by Britain in 1873. Some of the first dungeons were built without windows or ventilation, and slavers only constructed these systems after the odor emitted from the dungeons became unbearable for them to handle (depicted above). foreign adult and $4 for students and $2 for children. google_color_link = "D40000"; Ghana like the Cape Coast castle, Elmina is a World Built in 1482, Elmina is the best-preserved and most complete example of early European masonry construction in Ghana and served as an active commercial outpost over four centuries. Erected by the Portuguese in 1482, Elmina Castle was the first trading post build on the coasts of Africa. The corridor leading to the female slave quarters. Here, slave-catchers would sell enslaved people to the Portuguese in exchange for valuable goods and resources. 3D Models Videos Panorama Tour Photos Plans & Sections Images of 3D models Maps. However, similar to the quality-of-life differences between the slave and soldier quarters, the soldiers' confinement rooms were significantly more humanitarian in nature compared to the slaves' confinement rooms. The upper quarters were separated quite well from the quarters below, such that those above would have no idea of the extent to which the orchestrated suffering of human beings was being conducted underneath their feet. It was used for gold and ivory trade mainly at the google_color_bg = "FFFFFF"; google_color_url = "0000FF"; from Cape Coast. Elmina Castle continues to serve as a powerful reminder of the history of the slave trade; an evil history that changed the course of humanity forever. However, due to being crammed and shackled together, everyone would need to move in order for one person to access the waste bucket. The subordinates would grab this woman and bathe her in the well located at the center of the courtyard; a body of water thought to have been poisoned by the Portuguese during the Dutch invasion. In 1637 the Dutch army bombarded the castle from a nearby hill and took over In 1996 a museum was opened in Elima castle. This portal existed between the castle and the slave ships docked at the shore. Elmina Castle is historically important as it is the earliest European construction in the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest castle in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the slave confinement room (depicted to the right above) had no windows for sunlight to enter the room, and its doors had less holes in it to let in air and sunlight. Today, Elmina Castle is preserved as a Ghanaian national monument and it was designated as a World Heritage Monument under UNESCO in 1972. Elmina Castle‘s history is very similar. As many as 1.500 slaves were held in the dungeons of this castle at one time. This door earned its name in blood; after passing through this door, the enslaved were brought to the slave ships, where they were stowed away for the arduous journey across the Atlantic. Ghana finally seized back control of their land from their colonizers in 1957, including Elmina Castle. google_ad_channel =""; They renamed it Elmina Castle and built another fort on the hill they used to It is sometimes called St. George's Castle. google_ad_client = "pub-5387217387406024"; Today, along with other slave castles in Any enslaved person that tried to flee for their life was shot and killed on the spot. Upon dying, their bodies were removed by other enslaved Africans, almost as a way to say to them that this too would be their fate if they stood up against their oppressors. An estimated 30.000 slaves a year passed through Elmina Castle’s door of no return. google_color_border = "FFFFFF"; As a part of this pilgrimage, many Black returnees made their way to the hundreds of slave castles littered along Ghana's coast, paying their respects to the torturous suffering their ancestors endured at the hands of European Imperialism. google_ad_height = 280; center anymore. Enslaved people would arrive to Elmina Castle, having no idea what atrocious terrors awaited them during their captivity. Elmina Castle History. But, in truth, many low-ranking soldiers would never come in contact with the enslaved. When was the first stone keep castle built? Soul" Movie Premiere @ Apollo Theatre. //-->. google_ui_features = "rc:0"; It was also built by the Portuguese in 1482 but The Dutch seized control of the castle in 1637. These dungeons were overrun by disease and death. Built in 1482 by Portuguese traders, Elmina Castle was the first European slave-trading post in all of sub-saharan Africa. Soon after the Portuguese established themselves on the coast of West Africa, English, Dutch, Danish, and Swedish imperialists also constructed hundreds of similar castles along the coast between 1482 and 1786. Studio Sessions @ Freehold Brooklyn (2019), OkayAfrica's "Africa to the World" Showcase @ SXSW, Burna Boy @ "Naija Worldwide" by Nike & OkayAfrica, Hot 97's "Who's Next" Artist Showcase @ SOBs, Sustainable Fashion Discussion @ #SamsungExperience, Moët & Chandon X Hennessy Holiday Party @ Nike Soho, "Mr. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. The oppressive forced stomped out all thoughts of freedom from captivity with violence. After three months of grueling captivity, the enslaved were then prepared to be shipped to the "New World."