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Fort At Coylan – Antique Map / Plan 1764
A copper engraved 1764 map/plan of Coylan in 1764. Produced by the famous Jacques Nicolas Bellin the French cartographer. It measures 37 x 25 cm. The Portuguese built St Thomas Fort at Coylan in 1517. Coylan, Coylang, Cualao, Cuallom, Quilon, as they called it variously from down the ages. Better known as Kollam today.
The city was an important trading seaport from ancient times. Visited by the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Chinese maritime traders. Taking back with them Kerala’s famed commodities- Pepper, cardamom, spices, ivory, teak, rosewood, and so on. By the 16th century, the Europeans entered the trade on the Malabar coast.
The first to arrive was the Portuguese at Calicut, now Kozhikode in 1498. In the succeeding years setting up trading posts along the Malabar Coast in Kannur, Cochin, Kollam, and so on.
See my post- Page From Rare 1713 Latin Book on Calicut.
A settlement with a wooden fortification was opened in Kollam in 1505. In 1517 a more solid masonry fort called Sao Tome or St Thomas Fort was built. This plan shows the design of St Thomas Fort at Tangasseri, Quilon.
Read more- St Thomas Fort.
By 1661 another European country the Dutch ransacked Quilon and ousting the Portuguese. Taking complete control of the fort and the city. And made it the capital of Dutch Malabar. As always they reduced the size of the Portuguese Fortification. In 1795 the British would repeat the process by taking control of Quilon. Increasingly the whole of the Malabar coast would be under their control. The fort faced ruin after the Dutch left, which is still visible at Tangasseri today.
Did you know- Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam is interconnected with backwaters and is one of the most spectacularly beautiful lakes in India.
From the collection- German Map Bombay With Waffen SS Stamp & Seal., 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#1)., Madras Central Railway Station – Old Print 1873., A British Soldier’s Farewell In Bombay – Old Postcard 1908., View of Watson’s Hotel & Esplanade Bombay – Old Photo 1880