Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as Castelo de Sao Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine Castle), also known as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina (or Feitoria da Mina) in present-day Elmina. Most visitors to Ghana tour Elmina Castle, because of its history as a major trans-Atlantic slave hub.
However the castle of St George was not built for the purpose of holding and trading slaves, but instead as a trading post for gold and other African goods. It is from this trade that the name “Elmina” was derived from the Portuguese name for Da Costa de el Mina de Ouro (The Coast of Gold Mines).
It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara. The castle is about 3.5 hour drive along the coast from Accra.
When you visit this castle you will experience the physical history of the slave trade, the impact of which is still felt beyond the shores of Africa today.
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