Denmark, which has historic links with nearby Tarangambadi, was keen on strengthening its cultural ties with India, a top official of Danish Cultural Institute said today. Secretary General of the Denmark-based institute Michael Metz Morch, on a two-day visit to the coastal town, said Tarangambadi, an erstwhile Danish colony, was now serving as the primary cultural link between the two countries. He was speaking to reporters after visiting various monuments of the Danish era such as the Dansborg Fort, the New Jerusalem Church, Asia’s oldest protestant church, the Danish Governor’s Bungalow and the Maritime Museum at Tarangambadi. Morch, who was accompanied by officials of Denmark Embassy in New Delhi, said the Danish Cultural Institute was working to create, strengthen and support cultural exchanges between his country and the rest of the world.”We are keen on strengthening Denmark’s cultural ties with India,” he said adding the importance and uniqueness of the Danish era monuments at Tarangambadi should be propagated more among the masses across the globe. Danish Cultural Institute is a self-governing institution enaged in fostering mutual understanding between people and cultures since 1940
Earlier, the Secretary General was briefed about the heritage restoration and cultural exchange projects undertaken at Tarangambadi by the ‘Danish Tranquebar Association’, a voluntary organisation in Denmark comprising group of prominent Danish citizens. Curator of the Archeological Museum at Tarangambadi Baskar and Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation’s Tourist Officer in Tiruvarur Madhavan were among the Tamil Nadu Government officials who accompanied Morch. Tarangambadi become a Danish settlment nearly 400 years ago after traders from Denmark arrived there. They built the majestic ‘Dansborg’ Fort in 1620 AD, designing it on the splendid Viking architecture. The town was earlier known as ‘Tranquebar’.
The fort, situated right at the sea-front, barely about 100 metres away from the waters, was renovated in 2002 by the Danish Tranquebar Association in association with the Archealogical Survey of India. With all the Danish monuments and Ozone-rich clean beach, the coastal town is now fast emerging as one of the preferred destinations in the heritage tourism map, attracting tourists, including a large numbers of overseas travellers.