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“A Magnificently-Restored Fort On The Ghana Coast” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Fort Metal Cross

Fort Metal Cross
Off Harbour Road, Dixcove, Ghana
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Ranked #1 of 1 Attractions in Dixcove
Accra, Ghana
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“A Magnificently-Restored Fort On The Ghana Coast”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012

Fort Metal Cross is a former Dutch/British fort at Dixcove, on the Western Region coast in Ghana.

Unlike many of the forts in Ghana, of which I have seen 95% of them, Fort Metal Cross has been very well restored, with fresh whitewash and stonework. I don't know if this was due to private funding or from the Ghana Monuments & Museums Board, but I hope that this can eventually happen to all the historic forts along the coast.

The fort is easy to find - from the main road into Dixcove, there is a T-Junction that fronts the fishing bay. You turn left at the junction and you are right there. There are a series of stone steps up to the fort, which is on a hilltop peninsula overlooking the fishing bay.

The thing I liked about the fort is that in most of the other forts I have seen in Ghana, the cannons have had their trolleys clearly rotted away over time, so the cannons are just lying on the battlements. But at Fort Metal Cross, whoever has done the restoration has also built new wooden trolleys, so th cannons appear how the would have in the last few centuries.

There is a guided tour which is pretty good, although the guides are often locals who know more about the practical running of the fort & what the various functions of the rooms there, rather that any accurate history. Built in 1692 by the British, it's history is almost exclusively British, except for a very brief period of Dutch ownership from 1868-72. Thus, the restoration includes the Union Jack flying at the front of the fort. Of interest is that the fort saw more sieges that any other in Ghana, due to the proximity of the Dutch fort at Butre. When the terrible slave trade ended, Fort Metal Cross, like most of the forts along the coast, lost their value as structures & fell into decline. Some became administrative centres, and this fort became the local government administration building during the late period of colonial British rule.

The site gives a great view of the town of Discove, and the bay. The interior of the fort is immaculate. Like many of the forts, there are some local residents living there, but it is more tourist friendly & I think they have an appreciation of the tourists coming through.

Sadly, the only thing missing is a souvenir industry - like with much of Ghana, you will not find any souvenirs of the fort (not only western-style souvenirs, but even local craft seems to be lacking).

There was supposed to be a series of chalets being built at the base of the fort for tourists, but I don't know if they have since opened.

Visited May 2011
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