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India - Kerala - Kochi - Famous Tourist Places in Kochin

Famous Tourist Places in Kochin

Distance : 10km awayfrom Ernakulam

Kochi ¤ 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 harbour.
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.



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