Elmina

Elmina

Elmina is situated on a south-facing bay on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Ghana, lying west of Cape Coast. It was the first European settlement in West Africa and now has a population of around 20,000 people. The town grew around São Jorge da Mina Castle, built by the Portuguese in 1482. 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 channelled through the trading post of El Mina. 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 city remained in Dutch hands until 1872, when it was sold to the English.

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Elmina