Thanjavur, the city of temples, has a sprawling ancient church in its center. Located in the Thanjavur Royal Palace garden next to the Shiva Ganga park, the Schwartz Church has a very rich history. It was built by the Thanjavur Maratha ruler Serfoji II in 1779 CE as a way of showing his gratitude towards Danish missionary Reverend Friedrich Christian Schwartz. Surrounded by a carefully maintained lawn and trees, the church remains as magnificent as it did when it was built centuries ago. It also remains a symbol of India’s openness to other religions and the positive and secular attitude that prevailed all the way up to the early days of the British Raj. ALSO READ: Top 5 temples of Tamil Nadu you simply cannot afford to miss
The good reverend was a tutor to the king, and his integrity and habits influenced the king later on in his rule. Politically, the reverend played a big role in bringing the Thanjavur kingdom into the fold of the British Empire, after Serfoji II died without an heir to the throne. In fact, you can find a sculpture of Schwartz by the deathbed of Serfoji II, created in 1797 by Italian sculptor John Flaxman. The white marble monument remains a popular site for visitors. For Christians, the church remains an important site because it was one of the first churches to come up in the region. Schwartz and his work in the field of education were crucial in spreading the word of Christianity across South India and educate Indians. In fact, he was the first to introduce English in Thanjavur, at St. Peter’s School.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THANJAVUR
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Thanjavur is as given below. The best time to visit Thanjavur is also specified.