Built by the Portuguese in 1482, this castle actually served as a trading post—the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, in fact. It is the oldest European building south of the Sahara Desert. Though originally used for trading goods, the castle later became an important stop on the Atlantic slave trade route. The Dutch seized the fort in the 1600s, and continued to use the fort for slave trade until 1814. Ghana gained control of the castle in 1957 and is now recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Elmina Castle is a very popular attraction for visitors to Ghana, as it was a major filming location for the Werner Herzog film Cobra Verde in 1987.