Fort Metal Cross

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Fort Metal Cross 2012
Historic view of Fort Metal Cross from 1727

Fort Metal Cross is a fort built by the British on a hill on the outskirts of the small fishing village of Dixcove on the coast of Ghana in the Western Region .

History of the fort

The British began building the fort as early as 1683. Due to various disputes with Brandenburg-Prussia , which began building its own fort Groß Friedrichsburg about 15 kilometers west of Dixcove in the same year , construction was not completed until 1691 and 1697 .

In 1712 the British fort was besieged twice by a local Brandenburg ally called Jan Conny . This legendary Jan Conny was an extremely powerful local "broker", that is, an intermediary between Brandenburgers and the peoples of the inland. Due to a private feud with the British and Dutch, he and his private army of allegedly 15,000 men against Fort Metal Cross, but suffered a heavy defeat against the united armies of the British, Dutch and their African allies in the first attack. In a second attack, Jan Conny also met the support of the African population of Dixcove. He did not succeed in conquering the fort. In this attack, however, the fort's powder magazine blew up, which resulted in many deaths among British soldiers and local supporters.

In 1826 the fort was briefly abandoned by the British and occupied again in 1830. In 1868, "Metal Cross" came under an agreement between the British and the Dutch that provided for the exchange of various forts on the Gold Coast between the two countries. The Dutch left the name of the fort, but translated it into Dutch: Fort Metalen Kruis . This agreement was one of the reasons for the short-term unification of all the kingdoms of the neighboring Fanti and some smaller peoples (such as the Ahanta, to which the inhabitants of Dixcove belong) to the so-called Fanti Federation . When the British left the fort shortly afterwards so that the Dutch could take it over under the new name "Metalen Kruis", an army of the aforementioned Fantifederation occupied the fort and held it against several heavy attacks by the Dutch. This successful defense of the fort of Dixcove by an African garrison against the Dutch invaders was one of the reasons for the final withdrawal of the Dutch from the Gold Coast soon after.

In 1872 the British took over the Fort Metal Cross again.

The fort was renovated between 1954 and 1956, and accommodation is now available there. The fort has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979 .

See also


  • JB Webster, AA Boahen, Michael Tidy: The revolutionary years. West Africa since 1800 . New edition. 7. imprint. Longman, London 1992, ISBN 0-582-60332-3 ( The Growth of African Civilizations ).
  • Ulrich van der Heyden: Red eagles on Africa's coast. The Brandenburg-Prussian colony Großfriedrichsburg in West Africa. 2nd revised edition. Selignow, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-933889-04-9 .

Web links

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

Coordinates: 4 ° 48 ′  N , 1 ° 57 ′  W