St Angelos Fort

St. Angelo Fort is situated in Kannur district. It is also called as Kannur Fort or Kannur Kotta. This fort faces the Arabian Sea and lies in the Cantonment area in Kannur. It is separated from the sea by a huge wall. A stair case leads to the top of this wall. It is triangular in shape and made of laterite stone. This fort was constructed by the Viceroy of Portuguese named Don Francisco De Almeida with the consent of the Kolathiris. This fort came into the hands of many powers that ruled here before. It was conquered by the Dutch in 1663 which was then later sold to the Ali Raja of Kannur in the year 1772. The Dutch had made some modifications for this fort. They constructed the bastions Hollandia, Zeelandia and Frieslandia which is at present the main feature of this fort. With the arrival of the British it came into their hands. This fort was used by the British as their station in Malabar. The fort was then modified and rebuilt by them.

Inside the fort there are rooms for punishing the prisoners. They are kept in dark rooms which had just a hole for supplying the food. Once the food is supplied that hole will be closed and the prisoner has to sit in the dark. There is a grave stone in the fort with an inscription on it. It is believed to be the grave of the Dutch commander’s family. Inside the fort there is also a chapel and a stable.

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).

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 til 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. One of them Mr. Sathyan Edakkad has done the historical research and published a book with detailed history of the fort named "Vasco da Gama and the Unknown Facts of History. He has got many Awards.