235-year-old Danish tavern along Hooghly river set for rebirth

The project was funded jointly by the National Museum of Denmark and West Bengal government.
Work on the tavern’s exteriors is almost complete. The building is situated on the banks of the Hooghly river.(Picture courtesy: Manish Chakraborty)
Work on the tavern’s exteriors is almost complete. The building is situated on the banks of the Hooghly river.(Picture courtesy: Manish Chakraborty)
Updated on Oct 05, 2017 08:49 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By, Kolkata

A 235-year-old Danish tavern and hotel in Serampore, a former colony of Denmark in West Bengal, has been resurrected from the ruins and is now set for rebirth as a riverside cafe. It will also have a bakery, handicrafts shop and lodging facilities and will be inaugurated early next year.

A Danish colony flourished by the river Hooghly between 1755 and 1845, when Denmark handed it over to the British. The location was Serampore, about 25km from Kolkata and on the western banks of the Hooghly. The town was then known as Fredericksnagore.

Apart from the tavern, the St Olav’s church in the same town has also been renovated with Danish help. 

Restoration work going on inside the building. (Photo courtesy: Manish Chakraborty)
Restoration work going on inside the building. (Photo courtesy: Manish Chakraborty)

The cafeteria will be able to accommodate about 60-70 people. Of the six rooms, three will be river-view ‘heritage rooms’. “We are trying to throw it open preferably by the end of this year. The lodging facilities may be run by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation,” Hooghly district magistrate Sanjay Bansal told HT. 

Known as Denmark Tavern, the original look has been restored to this two-storied building. Bente Wolff, curator of Danish National Museum, told HT earlier that they used sketches nearly 200 year old to arrive at the correct frontal view. 

“Restoration work has reached the final stages. We’re now working on interior design,” Manish Chakraborty, conservation architect who is heading restoration, said on Wednesday. 

The tavern was rebuilt from this dilapidated state. (Photo courtesy: Manish Chakraborty)
The tavern was rebuilt from this dilapidated state. (Photo courtesy: Manish Chakraborty)

“This tavern constituted the historic core of Danish Serampore,” Chakraborty added. 

The building was lying dilapidated when restoration work started on October 6, 2015.

During her previous visit to Bengal for inspection of the project, Wolff said that people from Kolkata, especially the Europeans, used to visit the place for hanging out and playing billiards. They especially enjoyed the cool breeze by the river.

“We had 20,000 pages of Danish documents in our archives, written in Danish language, from which we got to know many things about this tavern. These helped us know how it looked like,” she had told HT. “It housed a cafe, restaurant and pub.”

The project entailed an expenditure of Rs 4.5 crore, of which Rs 3 crore was provided by the Danish museum authorities. The state government footed the rest of the bill.

Apart from the Danes and state government, West Bengal heritage commission is also involved in the project.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, principal correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata, has been covering politics, socio-economic and cultural affairs for over 10 years. He takes special interest in monitoring developments related to Maoist insurgency and religious extremism.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • IMD has predicted light to moderate rain in west Delhi and parts of NCR on Tuesday.

    Delhi rain: Light to moderate showers in west Delhi, NCR over next 2 hrs

    Parts of Delhi and the national capital region are likely to witness light to moderate rain over the next two hours, the India Meteorological Department said in its latest weather bulletin on Tuesday. The IMD also said that "conditions are favourable" for southwest monsoon to advance further into parts of Bihar, some more parts of UP and remaining parts of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir during next 24 hours.

  • In a controversial decision, the horticulture department has put in a proposal prohibiting the entry of pet dogs into Bengaluru's Cubbon park,

    Pet dogs banned from Bengaluru's Cubbon Park, animal lovers object

    A heated debate has broken out after city authorities proposed a ban on dogs entering Bengaluru's Cubbon Park starting July 1. Animal lovers took to social media to oppose the decision and shared a petition to force city authorities to allow pet dogs into the landmark 'lung' area of the city. The petition already has over 18,500 signatures.

  • ONGC emergency landing: OSV Malviya 16, a commercial vessel passing through the area was diverted to rescue the five passengers. The sixth passenger was picked by an ONGC support vessel (Representative Image: OngcIndia.com)

    ONGC chopper makes emergency landing in Arabian Sea; Coast Guard joins rescue

    A helicopter of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation with nine people on Tuesday made an emergency landing near the Sagar Kiran oil rig in the Arabian Sea about 60 nautical miles (111km) west of Mumbai, people familiar with the matter said. Six of the nine people including the pilot and co-pilot on board the ONGC chopper have been rescued and efforts to bring the remaining three to safety are continuing, officials said.

  • Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. (ANI Image)

    K'taka Home Min orders police survey to identify overstaying foreigners

    Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has directed the Dakshina Kannada district police and the city police commissionerate to conduct station-level survey of foreign nationals illegally staying in the district. The survey is to find out foreign nationals overstaying their visas and those who stay without valid documents. The minister directed the police to submit a report on the matter within two weeks. He said the law and order situation in Dakshina Kannada was satisfactory.

  • Bommai said Karnataka has ties with all the G-20 countries and hence, it is only apt to hold these meets in the southern state. (PTI)

    Karnataka CM Bommai promises cooperation in organising G-20 meets

    Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday promised full cooperation in organising G-20 meets in the state. The chief minister conveyed his assurance when former foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who is the chief coordinator of G-20, called on him. India is set to take charge as the head of G-20 in December. G-20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union, a statement issued by the chief minister's office said.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, June 28, 2022