Fort Batensteyn

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Depiction of Fort Batenstein in Butre from 1709
Fort Batenstein (painted by Jan SG Gramberg, 1861)

The Fort Batenstein (also called "Fort Batenstein" written) is located on a hill above the small fishing village of Butre southwest, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean the city of Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana , three kilometers away from the place Busua .


In 1598 a trading post of the Dutch West India Company was established at the same location . From 1650 to 1652 the Swedish Africa Company (also financed by the Netherlands) operated a base in Butre. Representatives of the Dutch West India Company, however, incited the local Ahanta against the Swedes and induced them to drive them out.

In 1656 the Dutch signed the Treaty of Butre with the Ahanta and expanded their base to Fort Batensteyn. According to contemporary witnesses such as William Bosman, however , the military use of this fortification was limited. Allegedly, the fortress shook when the crew fired from their own cannons.

In 1665 the British conquered the fort, but a few years later they had to give it back to the Dutch.

In 1872 the Dutch surrendered their forts that had remained on the West African coast to the British, including Fort Batensteyn. Here, as in other parts of the coast, the British encountered resolute resistance from the locals to their "surrender", which in the case of Butre they could only break with a bombing of the place by the Royal Navy .

Current condition

In contrast to many other forts in Ghana, the fort has not been restored for a long time, large parts of it were in ruins. That has now changed after the fort was extensively restored under the direction of an Italian professor with the help of locals. It remains a ruin, but has been brought to a better condition. Butre is benefiting from the tourist boom in nearby Busua , which is a short walk from Butre and the fort. It is also accessible by direct taxi from Agona Junction. Butre is located in a very idyllic bay. Even if it is a visibly poor fishing village, it has active residents. You have founded a kind of tourist association. In the middle of the village there is now a "Tourist Information Center" in a wooden hut, which is run by an old man. He enters tourists on a visitor list and issues a receipt. There, various programs are offered at fixed prices in a small brochure: z. B. guided hike on the beach to rocks where gods live, canoe trips on the river or a guided tour of the fortress. Part of the income from Tourist Information goes to the guides, part to projects and part to Butre. There are now also places to stay in Butre. The fort has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979 .

On this section of the Gold Coast there are large numbers of former European forts, e. B. The Fort Metal Cross just ten kilometers west of Butri , see also here .

See also

Web links

  • Entry on the UNESCO World Heritage Center website ( English and French ).

Coordinates: 4 ° 49 ′ 37 "  N , 1 ° 55 ′ 17"  W.