St. Angelo Fort Kannur -Kannur fort

St. Angelo's Fort was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India and is on the Arabian sea coast about 2km from Kannur town. It was attacked in vain by the local Indian ruler Zamorin and kolathiri in the Siege of Cannanore (1507).

Fort at Kannur

On August 1509 Almeida, refusing to recognize Afonso de Albuquerque's as the new Portuguese governor to supersede himself, arrested him in this fortress after having fought the naval Battle of Diu. Afonso de Albuquerque was released after six months' confinement, and become governor on the arrival of the grand-marshal of Portugal with a large fleet, in October 1509.[1]

The Dutch captured the fort from the Portuguese in 1663. They modernised the fort and built the bastions Hollandia, Zeelandia and Frieslandia that are the major features of the present structure. The original Portuguese fort was pulled down later. A painting of this fort and the fishing ferry behind it can be seen in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. The Dutch sold the fort to king Ali Raja of Arakkal in 1772. In 1790 the British seized it and used it as their chief military station in Malabar until 1947.

The fort is in the Cannanore Cantonment area. It is fairly well preserved as a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India. St Angelo's fort is a most important historical monument and a popular tourist attraction. Six Tourism Policeman are posted here for protection duty.


Originally built by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, Dom Francisco de Almeida, St. Angelo's Fort has had a checkered history, particularly in the first two centuries of its existence. Attacked within first two years of its establishment St. Angelo's fort was the seat of the infamous Siege of Cannanore. Later it was seized by the Dutch in 1663, who in addition to modernizing and incorporating the bastions, brought the original structure down. Eventually they sold the fort off to the King of Arakkal, Ali Raja, in 1772. Finally, the fort was captured by the British 18 years later who held onto it till 1947. 
After such an eventful history, today the fort lies in well deserving calm and peace, filled only with gawking tourists. Made out of red laterite stone, St. Angelo's fort, built on a cliff, juts out into the mighty Arabian Sea and is surrounded by a beautiful, well maintained garden. A massive affair, the fort has huge chapels, prison, stables, ammunition storehouse, with cannons still fixed on its bastions facing the sea. The prison rooms still have an ominous air to them. Here prisoners were kept in the dark and once a day food shoved in through a small opening. Declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India, St. Angelo's fort commands some incredible view of the surrounding beaches, bay and of course, the Arabian Sea. Right next to the fort is the Mappila Bay, once a trade port and now fishing harbour. 

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