Building the Portuguese Military Factory of El Mina

June 15, 1482

The first contact between Europe and the Gold Coast dates from 1470, when a party of Portuguese landed. In 1482, the Portuguese built Elmina Castle (São Jorge da Mina) as a permanent trading base. Thomas Windham made the first recorded English trading voyage to the coast in 1553. During the next three centuries, the English, Danes, Dutch, Germans, and Portuguese controlled various parts of the coastal areas.

 

Elmina Castle

Elmina Castle

 

 

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One Response to “Building the Portuguese Military Factory of El Mina”


  1. Ghana Before Independence
    Ghana before Independence on March 6, 1957 was called the Gold Coast. The earliest Europeans to arrive here were the Portuguese in the 15th Century. On their arrival, they found so much gold between the River Ankobra and the Volta and subsequently named it “da Mina”, meaning The Mine. In 1482, the first castle was built in the Gold Coast by the Portuguese at Elmina.
    This was built to enhance their trading activities especially gold and slavery. By 1598, the Dutch were in the Gold Coast to also trade. They built forts along the coastal areas notable among them being the Komenda fort. In 1637, they captured the Elmina castle from the Portuguese and that of Axim (Fort St. Anthony) in 1642.
    Many other European traders came to the Gold Coast to trade. These included the British, Danes and Swedes. These European traders built several forts along our coastlines. In 1872, the Dutch lost interest in the coast and ceded their forts free to the British.
    Thus ended a period of Dutch occupation lasting 274 years.


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