The strategic location of Cape Coast having a sheltered beach in proximity to Elmina Castle made it a great attraction to the European nations. For nearly a century, there was a ding dong competition among the Portuguese, Dutch, Danes, Swedes and English to gain control of Cape Coast. The Portuguese built the first trade lodge in 1555 and called the local settlement “Cabo Corso”, meaning short cape, later corrupted to Cape Coast. The Swedish built a permanent fort in 1653 and called it Carlosburg after King Charles X of Sweden. During the next 11 years, the Danes, the local Fetu chief and the Dutch each in turn captured end held Carlosburg for a time. Finally, the English fleet took Carlosburg. The fort remained in English hands till the late 19th century serving as the West African headquarters seat of the president of the Committee of Merchants and later as the seat of the British governor.
Some figures of Cape Coast Castle:
The castle habitable accommodation area covers 3.900 metres square;
Around 1700, the company exported 70.000 slaves per annum, to the New World.
In the period 1830-50 the following average annual exports were recorded:
18.000 ounces of gold
40-50 tons of ivory
80.000 pounds of pepper
130.000 pounds of coffee
35.000 bushels of corn and some 70 tons of cam wood
Take a guided tour in the castle and learn about the horrors that have taken place within its dungeons. In Cape Coast Castle you can visit the museum explaining the mechanisms of the slave trade. Cape Coast is a fascinating town to explore, walk around and visit the Kotokraba market.
In Cape Coast you will find several internet cafes. The Barclays Bank, Society Generale and the GNB Bank offers ATM service.