Kolkata been nicknamed
the City of Palaces. This comes from the numerous palatial mansions
built all over the city.
During the British colonial era from 1700-1912, when Kolkata
was the capital of British India, Kolkata witnessed a spate of
frenzied construction activity of buildings largely influenced
by the conscious intermingling of Gothic, Baroque, Roman, Oriental
and Islamic schools of design. Unlike many north Indian cities,
whose construction stresses minimalism, the layout of much of
the architectural variety in Kolkata owes its origins to European
styles and tastes imported by the British and, to a much lesser
extent, the Portuguese and French.
The buildings were designed, and inspired by the tastes of the
English gentleman around and the aspiring Bengali Babu (literally
a nouveau riche Bengali who aspired to cultivation of English
etiquette, manners and custom as such practices were favourable
to monetary gains from the British).
Today many of these structures are in various stages of decay.
Some of the major buildings of this period are well maintained
and several buildings have been declared as heritage structures.
Conservation efforts are patchy and are often affected by problems
of litigation, tenant troubles, ownership disputes, old tenancy
laws and a lack of funds.
St. Paul's Cathedral