Fort Metal Cross is a historic military structure situated on a promontory in the fishing community of Infuma in Dixcove, Western Region of Ghana. Originally known as Fort Dixcove, the fort has played a significant role in the history of the Atlantic slave trade and is a testament to the trade between Europe and Africa.
In recognition of its historical significance, Fort Metal Cross was included as one of the Forts and Castles of Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions, which became a World Heritage Site in 1979. The designation recognizes the importance of the fort as a witness to the slave trade and its impact on the region’s history.
Fort Groß Friedrichsburg was constructed by Brandenburg-Prussia in 1683, approximately 15 kilometers west of Dixcove in the Brandenburger Gold Coast colony. However, the fort was not completed until the 1690s.
Under the Anglo-Dutch Gold Coast Treaty in 1868, the fort was transferred to the Dutch as part of a larger trade of forts between Britain and the Netherlands. The Dutch renamed the fort as Fort Metalen Kruis, but it was transferred back to the United Kingdom, along with the entire Dutch Gold Coast, on April 6, 1872, in accordance with the Gold Coast treaty of 1871. Despite the transfer, the Dutch name stuck, and the fort was known as Fort Metal Cross.
Author Bosman referred to the fort as ‘the fake mint of the Gold Coast’ since the gold that was mined there was predominantly impure, which meant the promise of gold was never fulfilled. The fort served as a service station for timber supply from nearby forests and for ship repairs. It also functioned as a prison for slaves during the slave trade.
In 1867, the British and Dutch agreed to exchange forts, and as a result, the Dutch became the owners of Fort Groß Friedrichsburg. However, the Dutch later sold their forts to the British, including Fort Metal Cross.
The fort has served as both a police station and a postal station in the past and is currently being leased to a private institution.