In 2007, David Hall was leased to the CGH Earth group of hotels, and has been used as a venue of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
Published: 05th November 2022 04:41 AM | Last Updated: 05th November 2022 04:41 AM | A+A A-
KOCHI: Fort Kochi is home to vestiges of Portuguese, Dutch and British conquests. Every heritage building here has a bagful of amazing stories to tell. One such unique building is David Hall near the Parade Ground. Constructed in 1695 by the Dutch, the building houses an art gallery and a coffee shop.
In 2007, David Hall was leased to the CGH Earth group of hotels, and has been used as a venue of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. According to the tourism department, in 1662 the Dutch ousted the Portuguese from Kochi. They razed buildings constructed by the Portuguese, and constructed a new fort. David Hall was one of the many buildings built by the Dutch inside the fort.
Old-timers of Fort Kochi say the building used to be originally the residence of the Dutch governor Hendrick Adrian Van Rheede tot Drakenstein, who compiled 12 volumes of books documenting different plant species in Kerala — the Hortus Malabaricus.
It is also believed that David Hall was used as a hospice for a short while for the Dutch military personnel. As per the tourism department, the building got its name from David Koder, a Jewish businessman who resided in the building with his family for years.
It is said the Dutch had established a cordial relationship with the Jewish community living in Fort Kochi. This might be the reason why the building was given to the Koder family. Hence, David Hall is considered a monument of Dutch-Jewish friendship in Kochi.
Although David Hall has had many occupants over the years, the architecture of the building remains largely unchanged. The building is a classic example of Dutch architecture. A droop in the wood is seen as a result of these horizontal beams and so the wood is supported by trusses across them. As a whole, the roof gives a look of an upturned hill, and this architectural wonder is highlighted by the modern lighting.
The three-feet-wide walls and the four-column windows are the other elegant characteristics of the building. A well-manicured garden and the old trees in the courtyard add to the vintage charm. The complex also houses a bollard stone that was used centuries ago in wooden ships for load balance.
There & Then
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