Famous Tourist Places in Kochin
Distance : 10km awayfrom
¤ St. Francis Church
Believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India, it
is the principal landmark in Fort Kochi. This historic church was
constructed around the site of St. Bartholomews, a wooden structure
erected by the five Portuguese priests who accompanied Alberqueque to
Kochi in 1503.
Hitherto confined only to royalty, the singular privilege of building
a church with mortar and stone, roofed with tiles, was extended to the
Franciscan priests by the Kochi Raja.
The fact that the church was also the original burial site of Vasco
da Gama before his remains were shipped to Lisbon in Portugal, has
added to its historic value. Only his tombstone remains today.
Preserved inside the church are several inscriptions on leaves, which
shed some light on the life and times of the Portuguese and Dutch
settlers. In the interior of the church, a plain arch separates the
chancel from the nave.
The church was originally dedicated to the patron saint of Portugal,
Santo Antonio. Renamed in 1663 as St. Francis, the church was
converted to the Protestant denomination by the Dutch. While the Dutch
had control over the church, it acquired an imposing gable façade
at the entrance. It became an Anglican Church in 1804.
¤ Santa Cruz Basilica
Situated close to the St. Francis Church, this Roman Catholic
Cathedral, established in 1557, is a must-see for history buffs. In
the 18th century, the British used it as a warehouse. But the church
regained some of its lost glory after it was rebuilt in the early 20th
century. The pastel interiors have ceilings that are adorned with some
of the most exquisite paintings. Its carved wooden panels and pulpit
are fine specimens of craftsmanship.
¤ Chinese Fishing Nets
Fishing being an important commercial activity in Kochi, visitors can
see large Chinese fishing nets standing out at the mouth of the Kochi
It was the Chinese traders, hailing from the court of Kublai Khan who
brought the fixed, cantilevered, Chinese fishing nets to the coast of
Kerala. The nets are also strung along the backwaters between Kochi
and Kottayam, and between Alappuzha and Kollam. The nets are used
mainly during high tide.