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Serampore and Tharangambadi, the Danish footprint in India that does not appear in the guides

Serampore is a city located at a distance of 35 km from Kolkata (Calcutta). This usually does not appear in travel guides, no matter how large they are. However, those who have a connection with Danish culture know how to follow in the footsteps of its ruined empire, put it on the map and view it. India This, to the surprise of many, lasted for more than two centuries.

Denmark established two permanent trading ports on the coast of the Bay of Bengal: the aforementioned Serampore and present-day Tharangambadi, where the Danes continue to call its colonial name Tranquebar.

Photo 1851. This is a view of the entrance gate of the Danish Government House in Serampore

Frederick Fiebig – British Library

Both cities represent the most interesting intermediate trading point between Java and the other Indonesian islands and Europe. Textiles, silk, coconuts and other oriental products that were sold at high prices in the old continent came here.

There are a few Danish colonial buildings in Serampore. They were important sites of the Danish government, churches, warehouses … they were used by the British and abandoned completely after Indian independence. In 1990, even the government headquarters was almost destroyed by fire.

St. Olav Church in Serampore, India

St. Olav Church in Serampore, India

Kinzel Pose88 via Wikimedia Commons

Sponsored by Copenhagen And the Government of West Bengal, these iconic buildings have been restored over the past decade. St. Olav Church was completed in 2012 and now operates. The bell tower is undoubtedly Scandinavian, pointed like a snowfall.

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Inside, the Lutheran temple differs in its lack of decoration. Only a sober but large cross rests on the main altar. Ceiling fans release hot flashes to worshipers, no snow.

The colonial government building has been converted into a hotel in Serampore, India

The colonial government building has been converted into a hotel in Serampore, India

By Dassurojitsd via Wikimedia Commons

The colonial government building was badly damaged by fire in the late 20th century and restoration is very slow. It is set forward by the wings, and some are ready to face the Hooghly River, and have been converted into a luxury restaurant with rooms. Despite its modest name (Danish restaurant), this establishment is one of the most select in the city. It is located in a special place to watch the life on the river bank and drink at sunset.

Serampore was called Fredericks Nagar and was Danish between 1755 and 1845.

Serampore was called Fredericks Nagar, and was Danish between 1755 and 1845. Other commercial buildings built by the Danes are being rebuilt and waiting for funding to bring them into new use.

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