In 1482, The Portuguese began the construction of Elmina castle to protect the rich gold lands discover in 1471.It took 600 Portuguese soldiers four years to build. On completion the town of Elmina was raised to the state of a city.
Elmina castle was originally built to store gold and protect coast against attacks from other European countries , it later become one of the most important stops on the route for the transatlantic slave trade. The Castle acted as a depot where enslaved Africans were bought in and traded for goods such as textiles , silver , rum and ammunitions.
The Elmina castle is divided into three courtyards , the main , the inner and the service courtyard.
In the main courtyard , all the rooms on the ground floor were used as dungeons for the male captives when the slave trade started , except town cells. The male dungeons could hold up to 1,000 enslaved Africans at one time.
Of the two cells not used for dungeons, one was a room for European soldiers who got drunk and misbehaved , they were kept there for a short period of time before being released. The second cell , which has a skull and crossbones above the door, was the condemned cell for enslaved Africans who fought for their freedom.
On top of the dungeons in the main courtyard were the residences for the soldiers , the merchants and priest.
Above the merchant and soldiers’ residence to the south are two watch towers built by the Dutch. When the British took over , the watch towers were converted to prisons , where the Ashanti King Prempeh I and his entourage were kept, and later one of Ghana’s heroines , Yaa Asantewa.
At the north end of the main courtyard is where the magazine , as well as the general office and boardroom with balcony.
In the middle of main courtyard stands a Catholic church built by the Portuguese. When the Dutch took over the Castle, the church was divided into two , with the top floor used as a mess hall and the lower used as a hall of trade. When the British used the Castle as a police training school , the two halls were converted to classrooms for the police.
In the inner courtyard , all the rooms on the ground floor were converted into the female slave dungeons when the transatlantic slave trade began. These dungeons could house 400 women , the larger of two dungeons could hold 150women in very cramped conditions.
The last courtyard is to the north of the Castle and was popularly known as the cat yard , it was so called because of the civet cats that bred on the yard.
Behind the castle are the remains of a jetty , or pier where ships would be docked or anchored. From there small boats were sent to the door of “no return” to cart the captives to the ships , to be taken away from Africa.
The intercity STC and Metro Mass Transit(Bus) coaches ply the route from Accra to Cape Coast and Takoradi.
Also you can reach Cape Coast from Accra by trotro.
It takes approximately 3hours to drive the 165km journey from Accra through Winneba.
There are many resort and hotels around here.
I select some place to stay enjoyable for everybody.
1.Elmina Beach resort
This resort is the highest class resort in Elmina.
This hotel is part of the Golden Beach Hotel groups which also include , the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra , Busua
2. Almond Tree Guesthouse
A pleasant family run guesthouse set in a peaceful and quiet area in Elmina.African and Caribbean is concept of this guesthouse , inspired by the owners who relocated to Ghana from Uk and the Caribbean.
Room is clean and comfortable.You must be reflesh during staying here.
3.One-African Holistic Guesthouse and Resort
A lovely beach resort which houses the One Africa Walls of Remembarance Museum.
Of course you can stay and enjoy here , in addition, you can enjoy museum as well.