Fort Apollonia

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Attraction Category: See Ghana, Forts & Castles, Heritage, and Historical SitesAttraction Tags: Abolish, Ankobra, Apollonia, Beyin, Dutch, fort, Fort Apollonia, ghana, Gold coast, Portuguese, Saint Apollonia, Slave, Slave trade, Takoradi, and Western region

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  • ABOUT 

    Fort Apollonia is a fort in the town of Beyin, Ghana, which is part of the Amansuri wetland. The name Apollonia was given to the area by a Portuguese explorer who sighted the place on the Feast of Saint Apollonia, 9 February. The Swedes established a trading post at Apollona as part of the Swedish Gold Coast between 1655-1657. In 1691, a British trading post was erected at this site, which between 1768 and 1770 was extended into a fort. After the abolition of slave trade, the fort was abandoned in 1819, but it was again occupied from 1836 onwards.

    The fort was transferred to the Dutch as part of a large trade of forts between Britain and the Netherlands in 1868, on which occasion it was renamed Fort Willem III, after King William III of the Netherlands. Four years later, however, on 6 April 1872, the fort was, along with the entire Dutch Gold Coast, again transferred to the United Kingdom, as per the Gold Coast treaty of 1871.

    DutchThe fort was restored between 1962 and 1968.

    History

    Until 1670, there was no fort west of the River Ankobra in Beyin (now in the Western Region of Ghana), except for the temporary French fort at Assini. All goods – gold and slaves – were brought to the coast, where captains of all nationalities haggled fervently for it.

    To ward off Dutch colonial ambitions which had led to intermittent warfare in the Nzema country (Apollonia), and to facilitate trade, the Nzema Chief Amenihyia granted the English Committee of Merchants permission to build a fort at Beyin on an elevated platform known as Cape Apollonia. In 1766, the quest for building materials began; construction ensued two years later on the last fort in the Gold Coast to be built by the English. The name of the fort was first bestowed on the area by a Portuguese explorer who first caught sight of the place on St. Apollonia’s Day.

    The abolition of the slave trade diminished the economic importance of the fort, and hence it was abandoned in 1819. It was transferred to the Dutch in 1868 as part of the 1867 exchange of forts agreement between the British and the Dutch. The Dutch renamed it in honour of their monarch Willem III and held it until 1872, when it reverted to the British.

    The fort was bombarded by a British gunboat in 1873, during a British attack on Beyin on account of its coalition with the Asante Kingdom. The fort fell to ruins. It was rehabilitated in the 1960s by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board and was used as a rest house.

    Fort Apollonia houses the Museum of Nzema Culture and History, which was opened in 2010.

     

    Hours

    9:00am to 4:30pm

     

    Getting there

    From Accra Takoradi road Beyin is 90 km west of Takoradi.

     

    Map

     

    Near by attraction

    Nzulezu Stilt Village and Sea Turtle Conservation

    Beyin Beach Resort

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