14.3.13

Senegal (2) - Gorée Island



Ile de Gorée (Gorée Island) is reached by a little ferry from the Dakar mainland. It’s today probably Senegal’s major tourist site. It’s a small island with only some 1000 inhabitants, but it has a long history, being one of the first European African settlements. The Portuguese were the first (1444) and there were several switches between Portuguese, Dutch and British domination, until the island became French in 1677. With a few short interruptions it remained French until 1960, when Senegal became independent.

You can of course see the remains of important defense architecture.





Dakar on the mainland was founded as late as 1857 and the Gorée Island was until the end of the 19th century a very active place with a much higher population than today, busy with trades of all kinds, including slaves. Despite the fact that the island has a “House of Slaves” which serves as a memorial, the slave trade seems to have been comparatively rather limited here, much more important in the north and south of Senegal, before being abolished by the French in the beginning of the 19th century. It’s impressive to see the small “no-return” gate opening to the ocean.


But today, the island, where no cars can be found, is very idyllic.







Some illustrations of the major Senegal sports, wrestling and soccer.  

  

17 comments:

Jeanie said...

The colors in this post just dazzle me -- I'm torn between the rich blues of the sky and water and the vibrant hues of the buildings. How wonderful to discover it at a time that it wasn't packed with tourists. Just beautiful...

martinealison said...

Je suis très heureuse d'entrer sans frapper ! et de découvrir les merveilleuses photos de cette dernière publication ainsi que celles de vos précédents billets que j'avais manqués...
Nous aurions pu nous rencontrer au Sénégal !
Du 1er janvier au 3 février je résidais à Saly tout en parcourant le nord et le sud du pays...
Bien évidemment vos photos me parlent... Dans ma publication de ce jour, j'ai écrit que la semaine prochaine je ferai découvrir l'île de Gorée !...
Donc une grande surprise pour moi en apercevant votre très joli reportage.
Dans la semaine j'espère trouver un petit moment pour vous envoyer un petit mail...
Gros bisous à vous

rauf said...

i am glad you are enjoying your life Peter. Different culture makes you aware of your own culture first. You realise how differently they spend their day doing the same things you do at home. Lovely pictures as usual. Hope you are doing fine Peter.

Pierre BOYER said...

Très dépaysant...

Pierre

Starman said...

It looks great and yuckie at the same time!

ALAIN said...

Pour moi, cela sera un jus de bissap.

Thérèse said...

Deux reportages bien visuels. Comme beaucoup de pays africains, une fois que l'on en visite un... on y retourne. C'est du moins ce que j'observe chez certains de nos amis. Je pense à ce fameux grand marché central de Dakar avec ses bijoux et ses tissus.

SusuPetal said...

Oh, so wonderful and warm colors in those houses! I embrace myself in that warmth. Helsinki -15 degrees Celsius in the morning...

claude said...

Elle a l'air très jolie et accueillant cette île de Gorée. Je m'y promènerais bien.
C'est joliment décoré. Quant à la maison des esclaves, ce n'est pas ce qu'on a fait de mieux là-bas.
Merci de ce reportage.

Synne said...

What a contrast between the colourful, peaceful charm of the houses and the dread of the slave house. You have such a talent for uniting the past and the present!

Virginia said...

I think when the ferry left, I would be still there taking photographs!
V

sonia a. mascaro said...

Great reportage, Peter!
Thanks for sharing!

Studio at the Farm said...

Gorgeous photos, Peter! The island looks like a most beautiful place ... with a very dark history.

M said...

Great photos, fascinating history .. You transported me there!

JoeinVegas said...

It looks so different than Paris. You do know how to make a change for your vacation.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post!
Fabulous photos!
Thank you, Peter.

When my sister lived in Dakar, she could not have any local female help at her house. It was forbidden. The nanny of her baby twins came from that island to work for her.

At that time, the crossing from Gore to Dakar was a frightening ordeal. No ferry or anything that floated that looked safe! Only rickety canoes!
Maria

Ruby said...

The island looks serene and picturesque. Thanks for sharing them Peter!!