Fort Apollonia is located in Beyin, Ghana, and is part of the Amansuri wetland. The location was given to Apollonia by a Portuguese adventurer who discovered it on the Feast of Saint Apollonia, on February 9th. Between 1655 and 1657, the Swedes constructed a commercial post in Apollonia as part of the Swedish Gold Coast. A British trading post was built here in 1691, and it was expanded into a fort between 1768 and 1770. The fort was abandoned in 1819 after the slave trade was abolished, but it was re-occupied in 1836.
The fort was given to the Dutch in 1868 as part of a massive fort transaction between Britain and the Netherlands and was renamed Fort Willem III after King William III of the Netherlands. The fort, along with the entire Dutch Gold Coast, was handed to the United Kingdom four years later, on April 6, 1872, as part of the Gold Coast Treaty of 1871.
Except for the temporary French fort at Assini, there was no fort west of the River Ankobra in Beyin (now in the Western Region of Ghana) until 1670. All things — gold and slaves – were transported to the coast, where captains of all nations furiously haggled for them.
The Nzema Chief Amenihyia granted the English Committee of Merchants permission to build a fort at Beyin on an elevated platform known as Cape Apollonia to ward off Dutch colonial ambitions that had led to sporadic conflict in the Nzema territory (Apollonia) and to facilitate trade. The search for building materials began in 1766, and construction on the last English fort on the Gold Coast began two years later. The fort’s name was given to it by a Portuguese explorer who first saw it on St. Apollonia’s Day.
Because the cessation of the slave trade reduced the fort’s economic relevance, it was abandoned in 1819. It was given to the Dutch in 1868 as part of a fort exchange deal signed between the British and the Dutch in 1867. The Dutch called it after their monarch, Willem III, and maintained it until 1872 when the British regained control.
In 1873, during a British attack on Beyin for its alliance with the Asante Kingdom, the fort was shelled by a British gunboat. The fort was destroyed. The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board renovated it in the 1960s and utilized it as a rest house.
The Museum of Nzema Culture and History, which opened in 2010, is located at Fort Apollonia.