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|District||Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abirem Municipal District|
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Elmina, also known as Edina by the local Fante, is a town and the capital of the Komenda/Edina/Eguafo/Abirem District on the south coast of Ghana in the Central Region, 12 kilometres (7+1⁄2 miles) west of Cape Coast. Elmina was the first European settlement in West Africa and it has a population of 33,576 people.situated on a bay on the Atlantic Ocean,
Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, the town was called Anomansah ("perpetual" or "inexhaustable drink") from its position on the peninsula between the Benya lagoon and the sea.
In 1478 (during the War of the Castilian Succession), a Castilian armada of 35 caravels and a Portuguese fleet fought a large naval battle near Elmina for the control of the Guinea trade (gold, slaves, ivory and melegueta pepper). The war ended with a Portuguese naval victory, followed by the official recognition by the Catholic Monarchs of Portuguese sovereignty over most of the West African territories in dispute embodied in the Treaty of Alcáçovas, 1479.This was the first colonial war among European powers. Many more would come.
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, with 8,000 ounces shipped to Lisbon from 1487 to 1489, 22,500 ounces from 1494 to 1496, and 26,000 ounces by the start of the sixteenth century.
Later the port expanded to include tens of thousands of slaves channeled through the trading post of Elmina, ten to twelve thousand from 1500-35 alone. By 1479, the Portuguese were transporting slaves from as far away as Benin, who accounted for 10 percent of the trade in Elmina, and were used to clear land for tillage. 23–24:
The location of Elmina made it a significant site for re-provisioning ships headed south towards the Cape of Good Hope on their way to India. After years of Portuguese commerce on the Elmina Coast, the Dutch learned of the profitable activity taking place through Barent Eriksz of Medemblik, one of the earliest traders and Guinea navigators. Ericksz learned about trading on the Elmina coast while he was a prisoner on Principe and subsequently became a major resource to the Dutch in terms of providing geographical and trading information.The Dutch West India Company captured Elmina in 1637; in subsequent centuries it was mostly used as a hub for the slave trade. The British attacked the city in 1782, but it remained in Dutch hands until 1872, when the Dutch Gold Coast was sold to the British. The king of Ashanti, claiming to be suzerain, objected to the transfer, and initiated the third Anglo-Ashanti war of 1873–1874.
Elmina is also home to Fort Coenraadsburg on St. Jago Hill, built by the Portuguese in 1555 under the name Forte de Santiago; it was used for commerce. In 1637 it was conquered and renamed by the Dutch, after they captured Elmina's main castle. Today, Elmina's main economic industry is fishing, salt production and tourism. Elmina Castle is very close to Cape Coast Castle, another historic fortress notable for its role in transatlantic slave trade.
Beginning in 2003, Elmina, along with foreign investors, began The Elmina Strategy 2015, a massive project to improve many aspects of the town, consisting of water drainage and waste management helping to improve the health of the citizens, repairing the fishing industry and harbour of within Elmina, tourism and economic development, improved health services, and improved educational services.
|Climate data for Elmina|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||22.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||25|
Apart from Elmina Castle and Fort Coenraadsburg, the main tourist attractions in Elmina include the Dutch Cemetery and the Elmina Java Museum.
List of sister cities of Elmina, designated by Sister Cities International:
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Elmina is home to the annual Bakatue Festival, a celebration of the sea and the local fishing culture, held on the first Tuesday of July each year.
Bakatue translated means "the opening of the lagoon" or the "draining of the Lagoon". It is celebrated to commemorate the founding of the town, Elmina by the Europeans. It is also celebrated to invoke the deity, Nana Benya's continuous protection of the state and its people.
The Portuguese Empire, also known as the Portuguese Overseas or the Portuguese Colonial Empire, was composed of the overseas colonies and territories governed by Portugal. One of the longest-lived empires in world history, it existed for almost six centuries, from the capture of Ceuta in 1415, to the handover of Portuguese Macau to China in 1999. The empire began in the 15th century, and from the early 16th century it stretched across the globe, with bases in North and South America, Africa, and various regions of Asia and Oceania.
The Treaty of Alcáçovas was signed on 4 September 1479 between the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon on one side and Afonso V and his son, Prince John of Portugal, on the other side. It put an end to the War of the Castilian Succession, which ended with a victory of the Castilians on land and a Portuguese victory on the sea. The four peace treaties signed at Alcáçovas reflected that outcome: Isabella was recognized as Queen of Castile while Portugal reached hegemony in the Atlantic Ocean.
Cape Coast is a city, fishing port, and the capital of Cape Coast Metropolitan District and Central Region of south Ghana. One of the country's most historic cities, it is the location of Cape Coast Castle, a World Heritage Site, with the Gulf of Guinea situated to its south. According to the 2010 census, Cape Coast had a settlement population of 169,894 people. The language of the people of Cape Coast is Fante.
Palos de la Frontera is a town and municipality located in the southwestern Spanish province of Huelva, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. It is situated some 13 km (8 mi) from the provincial capital, Huelva. According to the 2015 census, the city had a population of 10,365. It is most famous for being the place from which Columbus set sail in 1492, eventually reaching America.
The Mfantsefo or Fante are an Akan people. The Fante people are mainly located in the central coastal regions of Ghana. Over the last half centuries due to fishing expeditions, Fante communities are found as far as Gambia, Liberia and even Angola. Like all Akans, they originated from Bono state. Originally, "Fante" referred to "the half that left" and initially settled at Mankessim. Some of the states that make up the Fante are Agona, Kurantsi, Abura, Anyan, Ekumfi, Nkusukum, Ajumako and Gomoa. The Fante, like other related Akans, trace their roots to the ancient Sahara in the Old Ghana Empire. The Fante then migrated south to modern day Techiman in the Brong Ahafo region. It was from here that, legend say, their three great Leaders, Oson, Odapagyan and Obrumankoma led them south and separated from other Akans, to Mankessim.
The Fante Confederacy refers either to the alliance of the Fante states in existence at least since the sixteenth century, or it can also refer to the modern Confederation formed in 1868. The Confederation is seen as one of the first and most prominent self-rule movements in Ghana and the entirety of Africa. Its mission was to shake off Colonialism and establish a modern free democratic state.
Guinea is a traditional name for the region of the African coast of West Africa which lies along the Gulf of Guinea. It is a naturally moist tropical forest or savanna that stretches along the coast and borders the Sahel belt in the north.
Elmina Castle was erected by the Portuguese in 1482 as Castelo de São Jorge da Mina, also known as Castelo da Mina or simply Mina, in present-day Elmina, Ghana. It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara. First established as a trade settlement, the castle later became one of the most important stops on the route of the Atlantic slave trade. The Dutch seized the fort from the Portuguese in 1637, after an unsuccessful attempt to the same extent in 1596, and took over all of the Portuguese Gold Coast in 1642. The slave trade continued under the Dutch until 1814. In 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast, including the fort, became a possession of Great Britain.
Diogo de Azambuja or Diego de Azambuja (1432–1518) was a Portuguese noble and explorer.
The Dutch Gold Coast or Dutch Guinea, officially Dutch possessions on the Coast of Guinea was a portion of contemporary Ghana that was gradually colonized by the Dutch, beginning in 1612. The Dutch began trading in the area around 1598, joining the Portuguese which had a trading post there since the late 1400s. Eventually, the Dutch Gold Coast became the most important Dutch colony in West Africa after Fort Elmina was captured from the Portuguese in 1637, but fell into disarray after the abolition of the slave trade in the early 19th century. On 6 April 1872, the Dutch Gold Coast was, in accordance with the Anglo-Dutch Treaties of 1870–71, ceded to the United Kingdom.
The Portuguese Gold Coast was a Portuguese colony on the West African Gold Coast on the Gulf of Guinea.
The War of the Castilian Succession was the military conflict contested from 1475 to 1479 for the succession of the Crown of Castile fought between the supporters of Joanna 'la Beltraneja', reputed daughter of the late monarch Henry IV of Castile, and those of Henry's half-sister, Isabella, who was ultimately successful.
Fernão Gomes was a Portuguese merchant and explorer from Lisbon, possibly the son of Tristão Gomes de Brito.
The Gold Coast was the name for a region on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa that was rich in gold, petroleum, sweet crude oil and natural gas. This former region is now known as the country of Ghana.
The Treaty of Axim was concluded between the Netherlands and the chiefs of Axim in the western region of the Gold Coast and signed at Fort St. Anthony near Axim on 17 February 1642. The treaty regulated the jurisdiction of the Netherlands and the Dutch West India Company in the town and polity of Axim after the Dutch West India Company had successfully attacked the Portuguese who were the occupants of Fort St. Anthony in the town. Over time, the agreement was in part superseded and replaced by new contracts and agreements. The treaty did remain the basis for Dutch jurisdiction and political relations between Axim and the Dutch until the latter left the Gold Coast in 1872.
The Battle of Guinea took place on the Gulf of Guinea, in western Africa, 1478, between a Portuguese fleet and a Castilian fleet in the context of the War of the Castilian Succession.
Fort Coenraadsburg or Conraadsburg, also Fort São Tiago da Mina, is a small Portuguese chapel built in honor of Saint Jago and it is situated opposite the Elmina Castle in the Central region of Ghana, to protect Fort Elmina from attacks.
The Bakatue Festival is celebrated by the chiefs and peoples of Elmina in the Central Region of Ghana. The festival, established at least as far back as 1847, is celebrated on the first Tuesday in the month of July every year.
Jan Niezer (1756–1822) was a famous and influential Afro-European trader in the Dutch Gold Coast. In his day and age, he was the richest Mulatto trader on the Gold Coast. Furthermore, Niezer was an important political figure during the Ashanti wars of the early 19th century. His most important trade interest was the Atlantic slave trade, until it was abolished by the Netherlands in 1814.
The Dutch–Ahanta War was a conflict between the Netherlands and the Ahanta between 1837 and 1839. Beginning with a mere economic dispute between the Ahanta and the Dutch, who were based at the Dutch Gold Coast, the conflict ended with the hanging of Ahanta king Badu Bonsu II and the reorganization of the Ahanta state, establishing a Dutch protectorate over the Ahanta.
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