Fort Prinzenstein, located at Keta in Ghana’s Volta region is one of the many tourist spots left to rot in the country. This, among other things, has made it difficult to preserve the country’s history and heritage.
The TV3 New Day team in collaboration with Tour Operators Union of Ghana in a video documentary showed that the fort is gradually collapsing without any intervention to renovate it.
The team embarked on a familiarization tour to be able to orient local and international tourists to various tourist sites.
History of the Fort
Speaking to the tour guide to the fort, Mr Mensah (assumed name) said the fort was originally built by Danish traders in 1784 for defensive purposes in a war against the Anlo Ewe and to protect the area from other colonial powers.
He further stated that the fort was also used as a dungeon for slaves waiting to be transported to the Caribbean.
The guide said that “the slaves were transported from Togo to the fort as it is in the Volta region and closer to Togo”.
He revealed that each room in the dungeon was occupied by around 100-200 slaves with unfavorable living conditions, adding that the female dungeon was completely destroyed due to the sea breeze.
“The slave trade was so serious that some inhabitants of very small towns were even captured to be sold.”
The guide explained that the fort was built around 84 years ago and the sea breeze contributed to the building’s gradual deterioration.
Mr Mensah said that “the fort was used as a prison for some time before it was partially destroyed by sea in 1980”.
He explained that shea butter was used to rub the bodies of slaves to make them attractive to buyers.
In addition, the age of slaves was determined by the condition of their teeth. Slaves with fully seated teeth were declared young, and slaves with unhealthy teeth were declared old.
âThe children were also part of the business and they were able to detect their age by their size and the condition of their teeth,â he added.
The guide said trees had been planted all around the fort to make it difficult for the slaves to escape.
“The slaves who tried to escape got entangled in tree branches and were severely punished for hating others for escaping.”
You should consider heading to the Volta region on your next sightseeing visit to see the remains of Fort Prinzenstein and other sights.