Fort Metal Cross, located in Dixcove is one of the forts in the Western Region. Like other forts in Ghana, it played a role in the slave trade era but on a smaller scale unlike that of the Elmina Castle and the 2 other Castles. What makes it stand out to me was be the story behind it
Constructed in the year 1683 by the British and completed in the 1690s by the and is one of the UNESCO heritage sites in the country. It was occupied by Britain and the Dutch.
Most of our colonial masters came with the hope of mining pure gold but to their surprise, the gold mined in that community was impure and was named ‘the fake mint’. Because of this, it became a service station for the repair ships and the supply of timber and in time it became a slave prison.
As told by the tour guide, a lot of things took place for the fort to be built. According to him, human sacrifices had to be made for the building to be constructed. A virgin girl was used for human sacrifice and buried in the compound. The spot she was buried bears the star symbol in the courtyard.
The name was altered from ‘the fake mint’ to ‘Metalen Krus” after one of the Dutch boats. It can also be said that the cross as an object was used as a symbol burnt onto the bodies of slaves from the Fort as they were being prepared to be sent to the Castles to be traded off or shipped out.
For 5 cedi per head, we had our tour. In our vehicle, we could see the fort standing in its glory painted in white on top of a hill. I was confused as to where the entrance was as the design is different but that notwithstanding, we were ushered in by a happy person. Although it was just 1 man, we met the place looked tidy and well organized.
What I find discouraging is the road leading from Busua to Dixcove. The road is in a poor state and that caused the driver to charge an exorbitant price when we chattered him to the fort.
We had a good laugh with our guide, he told us the history of the fort and also shared with us some of the community’s challenges and his view on their deplorable road.
But then again there was no difference with it compared to the other forts and castles I have visited. There is no food vendor nor a souvenir stall to serve visitors.
With this, I employ you to go with your packed meals and beverages. Also, the place does not meet the standard of professionalism as experienced at Elmina and Cape Coast Castle. Rather, the courtyard was being used as a drying area with dry lines and clothes spread on them. To me it is one of the most beautiful forts in the country. The building looks simple on the outside but takes you by surprise when you start the tour. Fort Metal Cross is huge for a fort and the design is interesting, with a lot of turns and stairs. one may get lost exploring the stairs. the compound is big and the building is being well maintained
I urge Ghana Museums and Monument or the ministry of Tourism Creative Arts and Culture to step in and rebrand the place to appeal to people. A working staff should be employed and more tour guides are trained. But most importantly, the road should be constructed. the Fort Metal Cross has a lot to offer the country and the township. i recommend a similar management system at the Elmina Castle be implemented and have workers look professional as they take tourists on tour as well as selling our history.
Fort Metal Cross is a beautiful building with a beautiful story behind it so do well to visit soon for your tour. On the roof, you look onto the sea and the beach resort beside it and probably the beach. If you are lucky to go on a market day you will see the fishermen selling their fish to the women and children carrying fish home.