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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Elmina fishing fleet
Elmina is located in Ghana
Location in Ghana
Coordinates: 5°05′N 1°21′W / 5.083°N 1.35°W / 5.083; -1.35
Country Flag of Ghana.svg Ghana
Region Central Region

Elmina, is a town in the Central Region, situated on a south-facing bay on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Ghana, about 12 km west of Cape Coast. The first European settlement in West Africa, it now has a population of around 20,000 people.

The town grew around São Jorge da Mina Castle, built by the Portuguese Diogo de Azambuja in 1482 on the site of a town or village called Amankwakurom or Amankwa. It was Portugal's West African headquarters for trade and exploitation of African wealth. The original Portuguese interest was gold but this later expanded to include tens of thousands of slaves channeled through the trading post of Elmina. The location of Elmina made it a significant site for reprovisioning ships headed south towards the Cape of Good Hope on their way to India. The Dutch West India Company captured it in 1637; in subsequent centuries it was mostly used for the slave trade. The British attacked the city in 1782, but it remained in Dutch hands until 1872, when it was sold to the English.

Elmina is also home to Fort Coenraadsburg on St. Jago Hill, built by the Dutch in 1666, several Asafo shrines and a lagoon. Today, Elmina's main industry is fishing.


Elmina in the 21st Century

Beginning in 2003, the city of Elmina, along with the Ghanaian government and foreign investors, began The Elmina Strategy 2015, a massive project to improve many aspects of the city, consisting of water drainage and waste management helping to improve the health of the citizens, repairing the fishing industry and harbor of within Elmina, tourism and economic development, improved health services, and improved educational services. [1]

Twin City

External links


Coordinates: 5°05′N 1°21′W / 5.083°N 1.35°W / 5.083; -1.35


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Elmina is a city in Central Ghana.

It's name comes from the Portuguese word for "Mine". The gold found in these mines are also the origin of the name "Gold Coast", which was the name of what is now Ghana, when it was a British Colony.

Get in

Take a Tro-Tro or Bus to Cape Coast. From there, a shared taxi costs less than 1 Gh¢ to Elmina.

Get around

Within Elmina, shared taxis are very common. The Beach Resorts in Ampenyi or Brenu Akinyim can be reached only by dropping cars and cost 10-12 Gh¢.

  • Elmina Castle (UNESCO World Heritage Monument), (10 km west of Cape Coast), [1]. Built in 1482, Elmina Castle is the oldest European structure in Africa. Elmina was a notorious slave fort used for moving slaves onto ships bound for other parts of the world. Although today it is a tourist attraction, but once was a prison used by the Ghanaian government. It is quite a sobering experience, similar in tone to a Holocaust museum, so prepare to be moved.  edit


The people in the town outside are generally friendly. However, be careful where you step if you walk on the beach. Apparently, the toilet facilities in the area are lacking.

  • Elmina Bay Hotel, Elmina (Along from the Coconut Grove Hotel), 0205660670, [2]. Great restaurant and bar - right by the beach. The menu is wide with pizzas, pasta, steaks, fish all cooked up fresh by Chef. Some very naughty puddings - chocolate fudge cake, lemon tart, cheesecake, almond and apricot tart, apple pie - yum yum. Extensive wine list with nice glasses to drink from as well. Well worth stopping at for just food if nothing else.  edit
  • Elmina Bay, Mbofra Akyinim (Along from Coconut Grove Hotel), 0541614812, [3]. checkin: 26/06/09; checkout: 28/06/09. A brand new quality hotel. All rooms have sea view and own balcony and are comfortably furnished. Good food, efficient staff. Lovely pool. Good for walking along the beach and just chilling out. Highly recommended. US$90.  edit
  • Brenu Beach Resort, Brenu Akyinim (Take a tro-tro from GOIL/Pedu Junction along the Accra-Takoradi road towards Takoradi. Get off at Ayensudo junction, then hire a taxi from the main road to Brenu Beach.), [4]. A well-tended private beach, better for swimming than the beaches in Cape Coast, only a 15-20 minute Tro-Tro ride away. There is a restaurant/bar on premises which offers a great variety of Ghanian and International dishes for 5-10 Gh¢. Camping/rooms are available. 1 Gh¢ entry fee for the day.]  edit
  • KO-SA Beach Resort, Ampenyi (Take a tro-tro from Cape Coast or Elmina towards Takoradi. Get off at Ayensudo junction, then hire a taxi to Ko-Sa for 2-3 Gh¢.), +233-244-375432, [5]. Well tended beach resort run by a dutch couple. Rocks on the sea ground make it difficult to swim, but there are several great places for swimming or bodyboarding around Ampenyi Bay. Great restaurant with international and Ghanaian dishes for 6-12 Gh¢. 10-30 €.  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ELMINA, a town on the Gold Coast, British West Africa, in 5° 4' N., 1° 20' W. and about 8 m. W. of Cape Coast. Pop. about 4000. Facing the Atlantic on a rocky peninsula is Fort St George, considered the finest fort on the Guinea coast. It is built square with high walls, and has accommodation for 200 soldiers. On the land side were formerly two moats, cut in the rock on which the castle stands. The castle is the residence of the commissioner of the district and other officials. The houses in the native quarter are mostly built of stone, that material being plentiful in the vicinity.

Elmina is the earliest European settlement on the Gold Coast, and was visited by the Portuguese in 1481. Christopher Columbus is believed to have been one of the officers who took part in this voyage. The Portuguese at once began to build the castle now known as Fort St George, but it was not completed till eighty years afterwards. Another defensive work is Fort St Jago, built in 1666, which is behind the town and at some distance from the coast. (In the latter half of the 19th century it was converted into a prison.) Elmina was captured by the Dutch in 1637, and ceded to them by treaty in 1640. They made it the chief port for the produce of Ashanti. With the other Dutch possessions on the Guinea coast, it was transferred to Great Britain in April 1872. The king of Ashanti, claiming to be ground landlord, objected to its transfer, and the result was the Ashanti war of 1873-1874. For many years the greatest output of gold from this coast came from Elmina. The annual export is said to have been nearly £3,000,000 in the early years of the 18th century, but the figure is probably exaggerated. Since 1900 the bulk of the export trade in gold has been transferred to Sekondi. Prempeh, the ex-king of Ashanti, was detained in the castle (1896) until his removal to the Seychelles. (See ASHANTI: History, and GOLD COAST: History.)

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