The House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) and its Door of No Return is a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade on Gorée Island, 3 km off the coast of the city of Dakar, Senegal. Its museum, which was opened in 1962 and curated until Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye's death in 2009, is said to memorialise the final exit point of the slaves from Africa. While historians differ on how many African slaves were actually held in this building, as well as the relative importance of Gorée Island as a point on the Atlantic slave trade, visitors from Africa, Europe, and the Americas continue to make it an important place to remember the human toll of African slavery.
Following its construction in 1776, the House of Slaves became a holding center for enslaved African people to be exported. The House was owned by an Afro-French woman (Anna Colas Pépin), who owned several ships and participated in the slave trade. Conditions in the building were harrowing, with many of the imprisoned perishing before they reached the ships. Captured enslaved people "were imprisoned in dark, airless cells", and "spent days shackled to the floor, their backs against the walls, unable to move." Families were separated both at the House, with men, women, and children being held in separate quarters, as well as after boarding the ships, since most of them were not sent to the same locations. Young girls, in particular, were held separately from the rest of the imprisoned, being "paraded in the courtyard so that the traders and enslavers could choose them for sex"; if they became pregnant, they were allowed to remain on the island until they gave birth. Converted into a museum and memorial in 1962, the House of Slaves now stands as a testament to the human suffering and devastation caused by the slave trade.
|Tuesday||10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, 3:00 – 6:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, 3:00 – 6:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, 3:00 – 6:00 PM|
|Friday||10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, 2:30 – 6:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, 3:00 – 6:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, 3:00 – 6:00 PM|
Lemuel Huber | Mar 29, 2018
Great experience. But i definatly recommend a Guide!
Mark Winger | Feb 12, 2018
Well maintained piece of history. A very moving experience. Much pain and suffering began in the confines of these walls.
Ahmed Fall | Feb 18, 2018
Very interesting, worthy visiting, for African history
surjeet kumar | Sep 20, 2017
Historical Place still well maintained, The best thing is there are some french colony still alive some of them converted into Hotel. Very clean beach, I can say one of the best beach in Senegal. very clean water. whoever is visiting Senegal they must go there.
Fanny Stevance | Oct 23, 2017
A very important and grave bit of history. The tour was excellent and very informative. Highly recommended.
Ibrahiama Diamanka | Jun 9, 2018
Stanning place, i really love ,i was there four week ago with some friends and some of my two amiable cousins it really cool and enjoyable. The architecture of the old buildings and statues it was so wonderful to see and many people had been there and it was lots of noise and i did like it and also i made new friendships but unfortunately at the end of the day i lost my wallet including two ID and a Student card there Finally it was dull
Abdoul | Jul 25, 2018
La maison des esclaves de Gorre fut le passage de nos grands pères et mère vers le continent Américain et peu vers Européen. Lieu de pesage et d’échange de troc. Elle regorge une lourd histoire qu’aucune être humaine ne peut oublier. Le guide dit que chaque chambre d’environ 3 mettre carrée était remplie d’environ 50 Hommes! Lieu à visiter pour des souvenirs...
mohammed bol alima | Jul 10, 2018
Place charged with history with a massive contrast between where the shaves were stacked on top of one another below and the masters lived in comfort above. The view from "the door" is beautiful these days.
Emily Gonthier | Jun 2, 2018
This place has an interesting history and it is really touching to learn about the experiences endured in this place. The guides explain very well. We had a guide explaining in English. When we went in, there were two tours going on, one in English, the other in French. Being bilingual we would have joined either, but the French guide starting shouting in his language to the guy who was showing us in, and he was clearly quite opposed to us joining his group, for reasons unknown to us. So that made us feel a bit unwelcome. But the English tour was good and we had a good visit.
Iconic Adjounnin | Jul 26, 2018
La maison des esclaves nous ramene a l'histoire du peuple noir, cette maison nous amene a ressentir la souffrance de nos ancetres afin de comprendre notre mission aujourdhui. Notre mission n'est pas de la vengeance, cette mission c'est de pardonner. Mais le plus important est de construire l'Afrique aujourdhui pour qu'elle aille de l'avant et qu'elle soit heureuse. Voila ce que l'on doit retenir de ce lieu historique !
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