Fort Dansborg: Sights and Secrets

This is the fourth post on Tranquebar.
Previous posts:
Tranquebar: the history missing in our history books
The First Ziegenbalg Monument
The fort that walled the tsunami

Fort Dansborg, Tranquebar is the only existing Danish Fort in India. It was built in 1620 by Danish Admiral Ove Gedde, very close to the Bay of Bengal shoreline. More about the fort can be read in the last post The fort that walled the tsunami.

P1010834-lrThe portion towards the Bay of Bengal is on two levels, extends north to south and is trapezoidal in plan. On the upper level were residences of the governor and the priests, and the church room. The space below this was used as warehouse, store room and stables for horses. The central part of the fort has four camel hump shaped domes that we couldn’t see as access was restricted. Continue reading

The fort that walled the tsunami

Fort Dansborg, popularly known as the Danish Fort, at Tranquebar, was built by Admiral Ove Gedde, Commander in the Royal Danish Navy, starting 1620 AD. The land was given by the then Thanjavur King Raghunatha Nayak, at an annual rent of Rs 3111. This fort served as the trading base for the Danes during their time in India, 17th-19th century AD.

A stone plaque at the east side of the fort

While currently Fort Dansborg refers to just the fort building, in earlier times, it included the entire walled city comprising of the streets and other buildings. The wall, it is said, was about 50 metres from the shoreline which has receded about 300 metres over 300 years (Source: Book titled Early interactions between South and Southeast Asia). Continue reading