Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions – UNESCO Heritage in Ghana



The remains of fortified trading-posts, erected between 1482 and 1786, can still be seen along the coast of Ghana between Keta and Beyin. They were links in the trade routes established by the Portuguese in many areas of the world during their era of great maritime exploration. In 1979, listed in UNESCO World Heritage list.


Located approximately 500 km along the coast of Ghana between Keta in the east and Beyin in the west.

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

  • “Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions” is the collective designation of Western-style fortifications and outposts (mostly Portuguese, Dutch and British) along the Gold Coast during the colonial period.
  • The property consists of three Castles, 15 Forts, four Forts partially in ruins, four ruins with visible structures and two sites with traces of former fortifications.
  • 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 They represent, significantly and emotively, the continuing history of European-African  encounter over five centuries and the starting point of the African Diaspora.
  • The Castles and Forts of Ghana shaped not only Ghana’s history but that of the world over four centuries as the focus of first the gold trade and then the slave trade.The property contains all the significant remains of forts and castles along the coast.

Best Time to Visit

If you are planning a Travel to Ghana then October to March is the best time to visit Ghana, when the climate is marginally cooler and less humid, and you’ll miss the spring and summer rains.

About Ghana

Ghana, a nation on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, is known for diverse wildlife, old forts and secluded beaches, such as at Busua. Coastal towns Elmina and Cape Coast contain posubans (native shrines), colonial buildings and castles-turned-museums that serve as testimonials to the slave trade. North of Cape Coast, vast Kakum National Park has a treetop-canopy walkway over the rainforest.

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