The seaside overlooking Beyin is Fort Apollonia. Beyin is the traditional capital of the Western Nzema Traditional council located in the Jomoro District (Western Region) of Ghana. Fort Apollonia was constructed in a different style unlike any other fort in the Gold Coast with a substantially stronger seaward bastion that served as a defence with in- cells for storing the bought slaves from the interior parts of the country. The name of the fort was first bestowed on the area by a Portuguese explorer who first caught sight of the place on St. Apollonia’s Day.
Fort Apollonian was originally built by the British between 1765 and 1771, to ward off Dutch colonial ambitions which had led to intermittent warfare in the Nzema country (Apollonia), and to facilitate trade. It all started when an Nzema Chief, Nana Amenihyia Kpanyinli granted the English Committee of Merchants permission to build a fort at Beyin on an elevated platform known as Cape Apollonia. In 1766, the quest for building materials began; construction lasted for two years later as the last fort in the Gold Coast to be built by the English.
Features of Fort Apollonia
Architecturally the fort is irregular in appearance and square in outline with four bastions linked by curtain walls. The bastions are of different shape and size. The western bastion were strategically positioned to give a disproportionately large size and extra solidity and had nine mounted guns because of its exposure maritime enemy attack and also because it was constructed for use as a slave prison. The other three bastions were smaller and designed to carry up to five guns.
The subsequent abolition of the slave trade in the Gold Coast diminished the economic importance of the fort, as a result it became expensive, so the British abandoned it in 1819. It’s ownership was transferred to the Dutch in 1868 as part of the 1867 exchange of forts agreement between the British and the Dutch. The Dutch renamed it in honour of their monarch Willem III and held it until 1872, when it reverted to the British. The fort was later bombarded by a British gunboat in 1873, during a British attack on Beyin on account of its coalition with the Asante Kingdom.
The fort fell is now in ruins. It was rehabilitated in the 1960s by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board and was used as a Rest House but now a historical and ethnological museum dedicated to the Nzema’s which houses the
past elements and holdings of their Culture and History. In 2010, with the purpose of making it a museum worth visiting, another restoration was made by COSPE an Italian NGO under the sponsorship of Italian Ministry of foreign affairs and in October 30th 2010, it was inaugurated as Fort Appolonia museum of Nzema Culture and History.
Interestingly aside the fort in Beyin, Beyin also has an attractively sandy beach for recreational activities such as sand bathing,beach soccer among others and one of the few sites in Ghana where the spectacular European oystercatcher is regularly observed. It also hosts the Nzulezo Siltfre village which lies on fresh water of Amanzuri about 5km from Beyin.
How To Get There
Visiting Fort Apollonian, Beyin lies 90 km coast southwest of from Aweibo junction on the main Takoradi-Elubo road .Take direct tro-tro from Takoradi to Tikobo Number one through Half Assin. Pick another tro tro to Beyin where the fort is located. The alternative is to take a tro tro from Takoradi and alight at Esiama before continuing to Beyin. Either way, all vehicles leading in this direction leave Takoradi at fare of about GH₵3.00. Looking for accommodation in Appolonia , one can stay in Appolonian Beach Guest house, Tenack Hotel, Beyin Beach resort. Local food such as Kenkey and fried yam are available at the facilities and stalls along the road.
The fort’s opening hours are 9:00am to 4:30pm.
Pupils from Primary to JHS 3 GH¢ 0.10
SHS Students GH¢ 0.20
Tertiary Students with ID GH¢ 0.30
Ghanaian Adults GH¢ 1.50
Foreign Children USD 0.50 or its equivalent in Ghana cedis
Foreign Students with ID USD 1.00 or its equivalent in Ghana cedis
Adult Foreigners USD 1.50 or its equivalent in Ghana cedis
- GHANA MUSEUM AND MONUMENTS BOARD