Fort Coenraadsburg or Conraadsburg, also Fort São Tiago da Mina, is a small Portuguese chapel built in honor of Saint Jago and it is situated opposite the Elmina Castle in the Central region of Ghana,[1] to protect Fort Elmina from attacks.[2] Owing to its historical importance and testimony to the Atlantic slave trade, Fort Conraadsburg was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 along with several other castles in Ghana.[3]

Fort Coenraadsburg
Part of Dutch Gold Coast
17th century view on Elmina. Fort Elmina is on the left, Fort Coenraadsburg on the right.
Fort Coenraadsburg is located in Ghana
Fort Coenraadsburg
Fort Coenraadsburg
Coordinates5°05′04″N 1°21′03″W / 5.08444°N 1.35083°W / 5.08444; -1.35083
Site history
Built1652 (1652)
Garrison information
OccupantsNetherlands (1652-1872)
Official nameFort St. Jago (Fort Conraadsburg)
LocationElmina, Central Region, Ghana
Part ofForts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions
CriteriaCultural: (vi)
Inscription1979 (3rd Session)

History edit

Fort Conraadsburg was built in the 1660s.[1] It was built on the site of a fortified chapel that the Portuguese had built[2] and that the Dutch had burned to the ground in the Battle of Elmina (1637). The Dutch ceded the fort to Britain in 1872, together with the entire Dutch Gold Coast.[4] Before the fort was built, the Dutch used the hill as a gun-position to bombard the Portuguese in the year 1637. To prevent others from doing the same tactic against the Portuguese, the Dutch constructed a fortified earthwork the following year[5]

Features edit

In the 1660s, the then Elmina Castle Director General J. Valckenburgh changed the earthen fortification with a permanent fort made up of local sandstone and named it Coenraadsburg.[5] The fort was built mainly for military purposes so it had no commercial warehouses.[1] The fort was well-garrisoned so the Dutch used it as a prison for European convicts and also as a disciplinary institution for their officers who are disobedient to their laws.[1]

Ever since the fort was transferred from the Dutch to the British, they modified the fort for the easy use of it for civilian pursuit.[5] In recent years, the fort has been used as a prison, a hospital and a rest house.[5] The fort currently in a good condition, is used as an inn and a restaurant.[1] The fort opening hours are 9:00am to 4:30pm.[6]

Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Ghana Museums & Monuments Board". Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  2. ^ a b Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana. The Society. 1959. p. 61.
  3. ^ "Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions". UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Retrieved 9 Oct 2022.
  4. ^ Doortmont; Smit, Jinna (2007-09-21). Sources for the Mutual History of Ghana and the Netherlands: An annotated guide to the Dutch archives relating to Ghana and West Africa in the Nationaal Archief 1593-1960. BRILL. p. 246. ISBN 9789047421894.
  5. ^ a b c d " - Fort St. Jago". Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  6. ^ "Ghana Museums & Monuments Board". Retrieved 2019-10-19.

External links edit