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Fort William

Photos and description

On the East Bank of the river Hooghly, one of the main tributaries of the Ganges, in Calcutta, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, is one of the main attractions in Fort William. It was built at the beginning of the period of British rule in India, and is named in honor of king William (Wilhelm) III. Right in front of him is the biggest public Park of Calcutta, Maidan.

Officially there are two FORTS William, the old and the new. The old fortress was built in 1696 by the British East India Company under the leadership of John Goldsborough, to strengthen the power of the Europeans in this territory. Then was established the South-East Bastion and the surrounding wall. Later, in 1701, John beard built the North-Eastern Bastion, and in 1702 started the construction of a Government House (Home Management) in the heart of the fortress - a large two-story building. And completed it only in 1706. This building housed the infamous "black hole" is a small basement, in which 1756 were tortured more than a hundred British soldiers when the fortress was captured by the troops of the Nawab (ruler) of Bengal, Siraj UD-Daulah. Then the Fort was renamed in Alinagar. But in 1758, after the battle of plassey, Robert Clive returned to Fort William to the British. In 1781 he began the reconstruction of the fortress and the construction of the "new" Fort, whereby the occupied area increased to 70.9 hectares.

Today, the area of the new Fort belongs to the Indian army - it houses the headquarters of the Eastern Command, but the fortress itself is able to accept the "accommodation" to 10 thousand soldiers. The "new" Fort William is well protected and the entrance is forbidden for the civilian population.