Island Ile de Gorée is an opposite of hectic busy capital Dakar. It’s very quiet place. It takes just about 30 minutes by ferry and you are in completely different world. As there are no cars and quite low population, it’s very quiet place. It’s popular holiday place for Senegalese, who are visiting the local beaches.
The island is popular for tourists not only as a quite place to have rest by the sea, but also because of the history. Island Ile de Gorée was one of the first places settled by Europeans and it it used to be an important merchant center. Many merchants built their houses at the island during 18th and 19th century. All the houses have similar architecture. They have two floors, in a first floor they were living and at a ground floor they had stores.
One of the most interesting houses is "La Maison des Esclaves", built in 1786. It’s popular sight for all tourists. The house is connected to the slave trading which used to be common there. There are small cells in the basement, expected to be used as accommodation for slaves waiting for the transport to America. You can also notice doors ending directly in the sea which supposed to be used by slaves coming aboard. Nobody knows if everything used to be exactly as the exposition shows nowadays. Some historic researchers point out the island Ile de Gorée had never been the real center of American slave trade. Moreover there are cliffs next to the door so no big boat can reach it, but who knows. Whether you believe it or not the house shows in its exhibition the whole horrible slave trade history.
Island Ile de Gorée is located just off the coast of capital Dakar. It’s under UNESCO World Heritage Site.