|Outlook IndiaDanish Tavern, Serampore, W |
"Monuments and archaeological pieces serve as testimonies of man's greatness and establish a dialogue between civilizations showing the extent to which human beings are linked". ........ Vicente Fox (www.brainyquote.com (/topics/monuments)
Serampore, a former colony of Denmark in West Bengal, has countless monuments built during the heyday of Danish rule. Among them, the one that has attracted the attention of the people as well as tourists is the 232 year old Danish tavern cum a riverside cafe. Until a few years ago, this historical site was in ruins, almost in a dilapidated condition, and now this old tavern has just begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The building is on the banks of Hoogley river just walk-able distance from the main street of Serampore. Recently the old Denmark tavern, a two-storied building, has been resurrected back to its old glory and charm. Amazingly the original look of the building is retained. After a long spell of time the doors are open for the public to have a quite and enjoyable time in the heritage hotel in the midst of 18th century ambiance. The opening function (28 February, 2018) was attended by representatives of many Nordic and Scandinavian countries, including Denmark and Sweden.
|Denmark tavern, 1923, Serampore, West Bengal. natmus.dk|
run by Coffee House. The revenue from the cafe will go for its maintenance, keeping in mind the retention of heritage value of the structure. Thanks to the National Museum of Denmark and the West Bengal Heritage Commission who, in unison, worked on the restoration project. The restoration cost of Rs. 5 crore was borne by a private association called Realdania. This association takes keen interest in architecture and planning and they collaborated with the West Bengal government (represented by WBTDC). The contribution made by restoration architect of the local government Mr. Manish Chakraborti needs to be mentioned. He skillfully used the talented masons from Murshidabad and the Sunderbans and, in this respect, his toil never failed and gave him a good credict. According to him this is the second government sponsored project after restoration of St Olav’s Church project (2016). The Coffee House derived its inspiration from the double height atrium of the Coffee House, Calcutta. Already some rooms are available for boarders and the tavern will become functional pretty soon, say a few weeks from now. The restored tavern will be taken care of by WBTDC (West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation). The cafeteria can accommodate about 60-70 people. Serampore was administered by Denmark under the name of Frederiksnagore till 1845 when Britain bought the Indian possessions from Denmark. Earlier a Danish colony had flourished by the river Hooghly between 1755 and 1845.
|18th century English Tavern. Alamy|
The Danes and like minded Bengalies together restored an old heritage site that was once an active part of the Danish Colony in this region of India.