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.
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).
The fort was directly in the line of the tsunami of Dec 2004. An example of the excellence of Danish military architecture, it withstood the devastation that flooded the streets, washed away homes and claimed about 700 lives in Tranquebar.
Adityan, a local guide, says that the foundation of the fort was laid so wide and deep that almost nothing could (and can) harm it. The Danish were safe from the sea, but they were unable to keep away other predators (including from amongst themselves!). The Danish East India Company had to sell off its property in India in the mid-1800s, mainly due to bankruptcy.
Pics taken at Tranquebar, May 18-19, 2014
Earlier posts on Tranquebar:
Tranquebar: the history missing in our history books
The First Ziegenbalg Monument