A Fort Unlike Any Other
Beyin is the capital of the Western Nzema Traditional council in Ghana’s Jomoro District. The highlight of this town is undoubtedly Fort Apollonia, a remarkable fortification that is unlike any other fort in the Gold Coast.
The British constructed Fort Apollonia between 1765 and 1771 when a 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. This was a strategic location as the fort’s main purpose was to ward off Dutch colonial ambitions and to facilitate trade. Fort Apollonia played a significant role in the slave trade.
This irregularly shaped fort boasts four bastions of different shapes and sizes linked by curtain walls. The western bastion, with its nine mounted guns, is impressive and adds to the fort’s imposing presence. The other three bastions were smaller and carry up to five guns. After the abolition of the slave trade, the British abandoned the fort in 1819.
In the 1960s Ghana Museums and Monuments Board restored the ruined fort and used as a Rest House. Today, after restorations and transformations, the fort has turned into a historical and ethnological museum dedicated to the Nzema’s culture and history. In 2010 it was inaugurated as Fort Apollonia museum of Nzema Culture and History.
This is not all that Beyin offers. The town also boasts a stunning sandy beach perfect for beach soccer and sand bathing. If you are lucky enough, you might even spot the spectacular European oystercatcher, a rare bird that is regularly observed in this area.
The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board is the legal custodian of Ghana's material cultural heritage. It was established in March 1957 – on the eve of Ghana's independence - as a result of the merger of the then interim Council of the National Museum of the Gold Coast and the Monuments and Relics Commission.