Fort Christiansborg or the Castle, mostly known by Ghanaians as the Osu Castle, is a castle located in Osu – Accra, Ghana on the coast. It is a substantial fort which was built by Denmark-Norway in the 1660s, thereafter the fort changed ownership between Denmark-Norway, Portugal, the Akwamu, Britain, and post-Independence Ghana. The Denmark–Norway controlled the fort with the capital of the Danish Gold Coast and held and also dispatched enslaved people overseas.
In 1902, Osu Castle became the seat of the government in Ghana, but this has now moved to Jubilee House of the Republic of Ghana. Because of its testimony to European colonial influence in West Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade, the castle was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 along with several other castles and forts in Ghana. In 2017, the castle was converted into a Presidential Museum as part of Ghana’s 60th-anniversary legacy project. It is to be a state-of-the-art museum which would house presidential artefacts, presidential papers, waxworks of our presidents and also on display are personal possessions of past leaders like books, artworks, items of clothing and culture to allow us to honor their memories appropriately.
Side by side the dungeons are posh facilities where the criminal white slave traders enjoy themselves with their girlfriends and wives, including black females caught as slaves whom they rape at will. You can see their offices, posh tables and seats, the room and even the beddings used by the Queen of England when she visited Ghana during the colonial days. Curiously enough, there is a Church in the castle where the slave traders’ worship.
It stultifies the imagination that while the patrons of the trade worship God on Sundays, a ship of stark inhumanity was before them in the high sea, waiting to transport men and women, who were forcefully separated from their families to a foreign land where they perished for over 400 years! The Slave trade was the most inhuman form of trade that ever took place on the planet Earth. The first Europeans to reach the West Coast were the Portuguese. They found a surplus population that could be bought or exchanged with beads, mirrors, and bottles of liquor.
It was not long that the news filtered to those who need men to work in their plantations. Soon, a flotilla of ships began to arrive at the shores of the West Coast. With the able assistance of the local kings, men and women were captured, chained and led for hundreds of kilometers to the coastal market like Badagry in Nigeria, Salaga and Pikworo slave markets in Ghana where they were sold to the Europeans.
These unfortunate men, women, and children were led to the coast where they were held in the dungeons of the castles and subsequently carted like fish in slave ships to the plantations in distant lands.
About 10 million people were taken as slaves in the transatlantic slave trade, at rates of up to 100,000 persons per year. The remnants of the slave trade in Ghana are still visible today in dozens of forts and castles built by Europeans between 1482 and 1786. In the areas that now became Ghana, around 30,000 slaves a year passed through Elmina’s Door of No Return. The trade went on till 1814 when the Dutch slave trade was abolished, seven years after the British.
Slavery came to an end through a combination of forces. December 1865 is popularly agreed as the final date. It all began in America through the Union measures such as the Confiscation Acts and Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the American civil war when Abraham Lincoln ratified the emancipation proclamation. The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865 formally ended it throughout the United States, which by the time had become the biggest slave transit point in the world.
The history behind Ghana, the then Gold Coast is interesting. I believe this article has given you full insights on the Christiansborg castle. Visit this place and you will love it.