Old map of the fort. On the left, next to the village of Kuppam (Coebangh), is the Buytenkerhof, the oldest Dutch cemetery in India

Fort Geldria

Wemberich van Berchem of Gelderland, vice admiral in the VOC, built Geldria, one of the earliest Dutch forts in India. The impulse was the ongoing struggle with the Portuguese who were based nearby at St Thomé (Chennai). Financial assistance at the time from the local ruler, who had common cause against the Portuguese, made the fort possible, but later the Dutch paid off the entire construction amount and were granted full ownership. More soldiers and guns were added to threaten the enemy at St Thomé.