Fort St George is an important monument holding the secrets of
historical events in the city. The establishment of Fort St. George
marked the birth of the new city, that is Madras, in the year 1640.
The fort was named after St George who is believed to have preached
in the region. The British East India Company, after buying the land
from the Nayak of Vandavasi in 1639, led the establishment of what
was called the Madrasemen, the permenant setllement of the company.
One year later they built the fort as a commanding post in the
region. With the increased trade activities of East India Company
the region soon developed into a popular trade and commerce centre.
The British enjoyed the supremacy in the region till 1746, when the
French attacked the fort and captured it. After three years, that is
in 1749 the British regained the ruling power by signing a treaty
with the French. In the meantime they fortified the base in order to
sustain the invasion of Hyder Ali and the French.
FeaturesThe fort in present Chennai houses the Tamil Nadu
Secretariat and the Legislative Assembly. The fort in its present
form looks more like a mansion, rather any fort. The foundation
walls of the structure are quite solid and the whole complex is
provided with enormous gates. The building is a live example of
British milliatary architecture of the bygone era. St George's Fort
also houses one of the oldest British Church in India. The church
called St Mary's was built in the year 1680. The Lighthouse in the
northern compound was built in the year 1844 and superseded by one
more in 1971. There is a museum in the fort that contains some of
the archives of the British occupation in India. Besides other
attractions, the museum contains the portraits of the British high
officials of the time.