Princes Town, Ghana
|District||Ahanta West District|
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Princes Town or Pokesu is located 5 km east of Fort St. Antonio on Manfro Hill in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region of south Ghana. It lies between Axim to the west and Sekondi-Takoradi to the east. On 1 January 1681, a Brandenburger expedition of two ships commanded by Otto Friedrich von der Groeben, arrived in the Gold Coast, and began to build a strong fort between Axim and the Cape of Three Points. The fort was completed in 1683 and was renamed Fort Gross-Friedrichsburg in honor of Prince Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg. Because the Fort Groß Friedrichsburg was named after a Prince, it has been referred to as: Ft. Friedrichsburg/Princes Town. The fort was to be the headquarters of the Brandenburgers in Africa.
In 1708, an Akan merchant, John Canoe learned that the Germans were going to sell the Fort Friedrichsburg to the Dutch. In protest, he began a resistance that managed to stave off fleets of battleships for almost 20 years. The Fort was eventually captured in 1725 by the Dutch and renamed Ft. Friedrichsburg to Ft. Hollandia. Because John Canoe was successful in retaining control of the Fort Groß Friedrichsburg, inhabitants looked upon him as a hero. In 1872, the Dutch ceded the Fort to Britain and in 1957, the fort became part of the newly independent country of Ghana.
Fort Groß Friedrichsburg
The Fort Groß Friedrichsburg is built of stone transported by sea between 1681 and 1683 from Prussia and is the only known German fort ever built in Ghana. It is estimated that some 300,000 Africans were transported through this fort. The remains of John Canoe are a mystery. Some have said he was captured after having lost the battle of the fort while others have said his remains are in the Tafo Cemetery in Kumasi.
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- Princes Town-Ghana West Coast. ghanawestcoast.com.