Cape Coast Castle is a
fortification in Ghana built by Swedish traders. The first timber
construction on the site was erected in 1653 for the Swedish Africa Company
and named Carolusborg after King Charles X of Sweden. It was later rebuilt
In April 1663 the whole Swedish Gold Coast was seized by the Danes, and
integrated in the Danish Gold Coast. In 1664 the Castle was conquered by the
English and was extensively rebuilt by the Committee of Merchants (whose
Governors administered the entire British colony) in the late 18th century.
In 1844, it became the seat of the colonial Government of the British Gold
The Castle was built for the trade in timber and gold. Later the structure
was used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The Castle, or Castle and
Dungeon, to give it its official name, was first
restored in the 1920s by the British Public Works Department.
In 1957, when Ghana
became independent, the castle came under the care of the Ghana Museums and
Monuments Board (GMMB). In the early 1990s, the building was restored by the
Ghanaian Government, with funds from the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), United States Aid for International Development (USAID),
with technical assistance from the Smithsonian Institution and other NGOs.
Other Ghanaian slave castles include the Portuguese foundation of Elmina
Castle (later Dutch) and Fort Christiansborg. The Cape Coast Castle, and
other forts and castles in Ghana, are included on the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage
List. This historic site was visited by the US President Barack
Obama and Mrs. Michelle
Obama and family on July 11, 2009.