Oct 27, 2013

ELMINA CASTLE

Today we went by car to the Elmina Castle, 3 hours outside of Accra. It sits right by the waters edge, the day was beautiful, bright, the sea side breeze, like an ambassador of the day, welcoming, attendtive.

The excerpt below is from Wikipedia and provides the summary of Elmina's place in history. This was my second visit, regardless of how many times you go, the truth of this place is sobering. There is a seaside village that sits right behind the castle, I will post a few photos.

On the way home I wrote some lines about a comment the tour guide made today about "inexhaustible waters". I've included below.

From Wikipedia:
Elmina Castle was erected by Portugal in 1482 as São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine) Castle, also known simply as Mina or Feitoria da Mina) in present-day Elmina, Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast).

It was the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, so is the oldest European building in existence below 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, and took over all 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 the British Empire.

Britain granted the Gold Coast its independence in 1957, and control of the castle was transferred to the nation formed out of the colony, present-day Ghana. Today Elmina Castle is a popular historical site, and was a major filming location for Werner Herzog's 1987 drama film Cobra Verde. The castle is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Elmina by the Sea ...................

The inexhaustible waters pound
again, again and again
each life traded and sold
never forgotten by the sea.

The inexhaustible waters forgive
again, again and again
where lives now free
learn and recognize
the responsibility to prevent.

The inexhaustible waters remind
again, again and again
the breath of freedom and
the oxygen of compassion
running the course of our veins.

We call can, we all do,
Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale
the inexhaustible waters remind.

After the tour we visited a sea side restaurant, The Castle Beach. It was nice, relaxing, I spotted a few tables with groups like ours visiting the area.



------ Short and sweet from my iPad ---------