Cape Coast Castle is a fortification in Ghana built by Swedish traders for trade in timber and gold. Later the structure was used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The first timber construction on the site was erected in 1653 on the order of Hendrik Carloff for the Swedish Africa Company and named Carolusborg after King Charles X of Sweden. It was later rebuilt in stone. In April 1663 the whole Swedish Gold Coast was seized by the Danes, and integrated in the Danish Gold Coast. In 1664 the Castle was conquered by the English and was extensively rebuilt in the late 18th century by the Committee of Merchants (whose Governors administered the entire British colony). In 1844, it became the seat of the colonial Government of the British Gold Coast.
The Castle, or Castle and Dungeon, to give it its official name, was first restored in the 1920s by the British Public Works Department. In 1957, when Ghana became independent, the castle came under the care of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB). In the early 1990s, the building was restored by the Ghanaian Government, with funds from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with technical assistance from the Smithsonian Institution and other NGOs. Other Ghanaian slave castles include the Portuguese foundation of Elmina Castle (later Dutch) and Fort Christiansborg. The Cape Coast Castle, and other forts and castles in Ghana, are included on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.