Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Santa Cruz Basilica, heritage church in Fort Kochi

- By Trisha George

The Santa Cruz Basilica was among built by the Portuguese in 1505, and was eventually consecrated by Pope IV and raised to the status of a Cathedral.

Strangely enough when the Dutch army captured Cochin, they were instructed to destroy most religious structures. This has been rationalised as a strategic move: "to draw Cochin into a more narrow compass" and reduce the area and structures that would have to be manned by armed guards. Whether or not this is accurate, it is true that the soldiers followed their order to a T. Only two churches from the Portuguese period remain today and Santa Cruz Basilica is one of them.

The original structure was however, demolished and rebuilt by the British in the 19th century and that's what we can visit today! Only one decorative pillars from the original remains, but the rest of the church is unique enough to warrant heritage status.

Ceiling of the church

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