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Kerala tourism Guide

Santa Cruz Basillica Church

Santa Cruz Basillica Church

The church is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea. It has a tropical climate, similar to the climatic conditions in other regions of Kerala. The church is located in the district of Ernakulam, but a few kilometres away from the mainland. There are various kinds of flora and fauna in the surrounding region, making this a wonderful tourist destination.

About Santa Cruz Basillica Church

Cochin has many influences of Portuguese style in their architecture, and a prime example is the Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica. This is one of the few churches that wasn’t destroyed during the Dutch invasion of Cochin. But, it was destroyed by the British, except for a granite pillar that is still preserved as a historical monument.

The cathedral is one of the eight basilicas of the country, and is protected by the government of Kerala as an important shrine of cultural importance. The present structure was constructed by Bishop Ferreira nearly 100 years later after the demolition of the old structure. The church celebrated its 500 years of existence in the year 2004.

The architecture of this basilica is a mix of Indo-European and gothic. The exterior is stark white, while the interior of the church is a pleasing shade of pastel. The interior decoration of the church is exquisite. It consists of paintings by famous Italian painter Moscheni and also consists of splendid replicas of famous masterpieces, including the ‘The Last Supper’. The columns and the ceilings are decorated with frescoes and murals. The most striking feature is the stained glass windows that add beauty to the church.

History or Myth

The church was built by the Portuguese in the 1500s. When the King of Kochi greeted the foreigners warmly, he faced opposition from the king of Calicut. He was helped by Albuquerque, and in gratitude, he gifted a land to him where the church was built. During the second half of 16th century, it was raised to the status of cathedral by Pope Paul IV. Since its inception, it faced turbulence and was destroyed and rebuilt during the European power struggle in India.

Tips or precaution

  • Approach the locals for an elaborate retelling of the history of the church.
  • Stay in the best hotels in Cochin as suggested by the Kerala tourism.

How to reach

  • flight
    BY AIR
    Cochin International Airport, which is the nearest.
  • train
    Ernakulam Railway Station and Ernakulam Town are the major railway stations.
  • bus
    Various government and private buses ply between the mainland and the island.
  • boat
    There are various ferry services available that cater to the needs of the people.

Highlights or specialities

  • Architecture
  • History of the church
  • Portuguese influence
  • Interior decorations (paintings, stained glasses, frescoes, murals)
  • Easy accessibility


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