Senegal History: First Building on Goree Island

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Using only the title of this post, I will give you (but one) guess as to what this is. Cigar! It’s the first building ever constructed on Goree Island.

Goree was a pretty hot commodity of an island back in the day. The Portuguese first inhabited it back in the 1400s and built this little structure as a church. As the sign says, it’s now the police post for the island.

Goree changed hands from the Portuguese to the Dutch to the British to the French, back and forth between those two a few times, then back to the French, then finally to Senegal after the country gained its independence in 1960.

Goree was the main hub of activity for Senegal for quite some time; Dakar didn’t really come into play until the 1900s.

Because I love you, here’s an extra daily photo of another neat Goree structure:

This is the former governor’s mansion, constructed in the mid-1800s. Can you imagine how MTV Cribs-worthy this place must have been back in its day?

As I said, Goree was the hub of Senegal in the 19th century, hence why this was constructed on the island and not on the mainland.

Several years ago, there were plans to convert this mansion (currently unused) into a hotel/restaurant, but because the island is a UNESCO world heritage site, no can do. It may eventually be turned into a museum of some sort.

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