Ghana 1 January: Kumasi
Peace Run in Kumasi
A lot of local people held the torch of the "Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run" and shared the message of peace and oneness at the beginning of the new year. Ghanian Peace Runners visited the major sites in Kumasi. Kumasi is the biggest city in Ghana, it is a former royal city. We visited among other sites the old Royal Palace, the British Fort, the local markets, Lake Bosumtwi, etc.
The Kumasi Fort was built in 1820 by the Asantehene (the King of the Asante Kingdom), Osei Tutu Kwamina, to resemble the coastal forts which were built by European merchants. Kumasi Fort had to be rebuilt in 1897, after it was destroyed by British forces in 1874. The fort was built from granite and brown soil that was brought from Cape Coast to Kumasi by porters. The Anglo-Ashanti Wars were a series of five 19th-century conflicts that took place between 1824 and 1900, between the Ashanti Empire—in the Akan interior of the Gold Coast—and Great Britain and its allies. The British lost or negotiated truces in several of these wars, with the final war resulting in British burning of Kumasi and official occupation of the Ashanti Empire in 1900. The Kumasi Fort and Military Museum is one of few military museums in Africa.
Lake Bosumtwi is the only natural lake in Ghana. It is situated within an ancient impact crater that is about 10.5 kilometres (6.5 mi) in diameter. It is about 30 km (19 mi) south-east of Kumasi the capital of Ashanti and is a popular recreational area. The Ashanti consider Bosumtwi a sacred lake. According to traditional belief, the souls of the dead come here to bid farewell to the goddess Asase Ya.
The old royal palace was built in 1925 by the British some time after the Third Anglo-Ashanti War in 1874, when the British had destroyed the original palace built by Asantes. The British were said to have been impressed by the size of the original palace and the scope of its contents, which included "rows of books in many languages", but due to events in the War of the Golden Stool, the British demolished the royal palace with explosives. The palace is now a museum.