Where is the Island of Goree?

Updated February 23, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

The Question:

Where is the Island of Goree?

The Answer:

The Island of Goree is located off the coast of the West African country of Senegal.

It was discovered by Portuguese sailors in 1444 and then ruled in succession by Dutch, English, and French powers. From the 15th to the 19th century it was the largest slave-trading center on the African coast. It is estimated that as many as 40 million Africans were held in despicable conditions on the island while waiting to be shipped to the Americas.

The island was designated by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, as a World Heritage Site. Its slave house (The Maison des Esclaves), which features "the door of no return," is now an emotional shrine where tourists and dignitaries go to reflect. The site has brought leaders such as Pope John Paul II and Nelson Mandela to tears.

To learn more, see our feature on Modern Slavery, and Amnesty International's Human Rights in Senegal.

-The Fact Monster

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