The State Tourism Department (with lots of help from the Danes) has dusted off and spruced up a relic from the 18th century — Denmark Tavern — that you can now book a stay in.
You can now stay in Denmark Tavern in Serampore dating back to the 18th century that has been restored with great care, and reopened as a lodge with an attached café. The tavern was established in 1786 in what was then Fredricksnagore. You can book any of the five high-ceiling spacious rooms on Bengal’s tourism department website. Book a stay soon as everyone who has heard about it will be headed there. The tavern revamp is part of the Serampore Initiative by the National Museum of Denmark which is restoring several other buildings in the erstwhile Danish colony with a storeyed past.
Along with the tavern, an old registration building built by the Brits has also been restored and now serves as a heritage canteen on the court complex. Also check out St Olav’s church while you are there.
When you stay at the tavern, get some books along as a homage to British Baptist missionary William Carey who had been a resident here. He settled in Serampore in 1799 because it was the only place in Bengal where he wasn’t ostracized for being a Baptist evangelical. Carey actually stayed here and founded the famous Serampore Press which published religious Christian texts and translations of the Bible in Indian languages. It also brought out the first Bengali newspaper and magazine and several Indian literary works, books on grammar, dictionaries, history and legends.
You can book this from the West Bengal Department of Tourism.