Discover the island of Gorée and its heavy past in Senegal

Senegal is a fabulous country with remarkable landscapes, fauna and culture. If you have the chance to discover this country, you will certainly be amazed. To better understand the history of the country and its culture, go to the island of Gorée, one of the 19 communes of the arrondissement of Dakar.

Its name may ring a bell… and it certainly doesn’t mean nice things to you! Indeed, this island remains today the symbol of a sad history: that of human exploitation and slavery.

Gorée Island, Senegal
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Summary

  • A place full of emotions
  • A Sanctuary for Reconciliation
  • A memory island to visit at all costs!

A place full of emotions

When the sun is shining, this island can seem heavenly with its turquoise blue waters and colorful houses. However, it was not for its beauty that Gorée was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 . It is the symbol of the slave trade which has become a haven of peace which has been recognized by the famous specialized agency of the UN. Indeed, it is important that the island of Gorée be preserved as such. Despite the horror that happened there, it marked the history of humanity . According to many historians, between 900 and 15,000 slaves were deported from 1726 to 1755 on this island, then locked up in the  House of Slaves in Gorée.. Today, this building can be visited in memory of these thousands of humans.

Gorée Island, Senegal
Credits: Wikipedia

A Sanctuary for Reconciliation

Although this island has long hosted suffering, tears and death, it has now become a memorial. We can consider Gorée as an open-air museum which remains the witness of a sad past, but also of a warmer future. Indeed, today many visitors from all over the world come to meditate there. It is now a place of dialogue between cultures, which makes it possible to achieve reconciliation and forgiveness.

See also  Discover the 12 most beautiful places to visit in Senegal

A memory island to visit at all costs!

If you go to Gorée, take the opportunity to relax in peace. Indeed, cars do not circulate there and there is much less noise than in the capital. We advise you to dedicate at least a whole day to the visit of this island. You will be able to discover the whole of the island, its monuments and its history.

The essentials of this island are of course the house of the slaves of Gorée , but also the historical museum of Senegal . If you have time left after discovering the alleys of Gorée and these two museums, you can visit the museum of the sea or the museum of women. To not miss anything on this unique island, it is best to take a local guide . Thus, this one will explain to you all the history of Gorée, but also of slavery. It would be a shame to visit such a place and miss important details.

For an even more beautiful experience, do not hesitate to stay a night in Gorée. Few tourists choose this option. However, it allows you to discover the almost empty island and to feel even more emotions. And with a bit of luck, you can enjoy a unique sunset.

Discover the island of Gorée and its heavy past in Senegal

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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