Fort Amsterdam, Kormantin-Abandze (1638)

Overlooking a coconut palm beach, the originally-British fort, Fort Amsterdam, sits on a hill in Kormantin-Abandze in the Central Region.

The leasing of the site for the fort was engineered in 1631 by Arent Groote, a disgruntled former employee of the Dutch West India Company, on behalf of the English company, ‘The Governor and Company of Adventurers of London Trading to Guynney and Binney’ . Arent Groote persuaded the Ambro Braffo (Chief of the Fanti state) to sign exclusive trading rights to the British, who then proceeded to construct a lodge to coagulate their claim to the area.

In 1640, the lodge was destroyed by fire. Believing the Dutch to be the arsons, a charge fervently denied, the British built a heavily fortified fort. The new fort had four bastions linked by thick walls, and a three storey apartment. In 1661, the Royal African Company obtained ownership of the fort, and it became the headquarters of English Gold Coast activities.

Dutch Admiral Michiel Adriaensz De Ruyter captured the fort in 1665 after a ‘long and bloody battle’ . He reconstructed the fort and named it Fort Amsterdam.  In 1811, the people of Anomabu, who were English allies, attacked and destroyed the fort. It is believed that the first slave prison on the Gold Coast was in its hollow southeast bastion. The name Kormantin was synonymous on the Caribbean Islands for hard to subdue slaves, especially those originating from the Gold Coast.

Never reoccupied, Fort Amsterdam remained as a ruin until its 1951 restoration by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board. It is presently open to the public.

The fort’s opening hours are 9:00am to 4:30pm.

Entrance fees are as follows:

Visitor Category Entrance Fee*
Pupils from Primary to JHS 3 GH¢  0.50
SHS Students GH¢ 1.00
Tertiary Students with ID GH¢ 2.00
Ghanaian Adults GH¢ 5.00
Foreign Children USD  2.00 or its equivalent in Ghana cedis
Foreign Students with ID USD  7.00 or its equivalent in Ghana cedis
Adult Foreigners USD  10.00 or its equivalent in Ghana cedis

*Entrance fees were reviewed in February 2013

Contact Details:

Central and Western Regions
Cape Coast Castle
Cape Coast
Tel +233-3321 32529

Source: van Dantzig, Albert, Forts and Castles of Ghana, pg 35.

Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) || All Rights Reserved.