Accra, the capital of Ghana is a sprawling city presenting a varied appearance, with buildings of modern, colonial, and traditional African architecture. Sights here are the 17th-century Christianborg Castle, the National Museum and its three cathedrals.
The site of present day Accra was formerly occupied by villages of the Ga, the local people, when the Portuguese first arrived here in the late 15th century. During the 17th century the Portuguese were forced to withdraw by the Dutch, who, along with the Danes and the English, founded rival trading posts, which became the settlements of Ussher Town, Christianborg, and James Town, respectively. In the 19th century Great Britain purchased Dutch and Danish rights in the area, and in 1876 Christianborg was made the capital of the Gold Coast colony. The three separate towns grew and eventually merged to become the city of Accra. Much of the modern city's layout was planned in the 1920s, and since then growth has been rapid. Accra remained the capital city, when in 1957 the Gold Coast became the independent state of Ghana.
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