Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Portuguese colonial church 1505, Kochi, Kerala, India - a heritage building

 Santa Cruz Basilica, Ft.Kochi, Kerala,India. cithinkingparticle.com
Santa Basilica, Ft. Kochi, Kerala, India. www.elatrip.com
 The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi  built originally by the Portuguese, was elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. Originally it was built as a small wooden church in 1498 near the beach.

The King Unni Goda Varma Tirumulpadu (Trimumpara Raja ) of Kingdom of Cochin  warmly received second  Portuguese fleet under Pedro Álvares Cabral on 24 December, 1500. As the Portuguese gave a lot of trouble on their first trip in 1498 , the Zamorins of Calicut  declared war against the Cochin kingdom but the Portuguese army under Commander Dom Afonso de Albuquerque  in 1503 defeated the Zamorians. The King of Cochin as a gesture of goodwill  gave them permission to build a fort in Kochi and later a church. The foundation stone of the Santa Cruz church was laid on 3 May,1505 that happened to be  the feast day of the Invention of the Holy Cross; hence the  name Santa Cruz. 

The Dutch way of alter design is a unique feature.Inside the Church the main altar  was decorated by the famous Italian painter Fra Antonio Moscheni, S.J., and his disciple De Gama of Mangalore.The interiors of the church are mostly Gothic  and there  are beautiful  columns decorated with frescoes and murals. The large canvas painting such as  the passion and death on the Cross, the Last Supper based on the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci along with attractive  stained glass windows  are noteworthy features and they still maintain the workmanship and artistry of bygone era. It is one of the best heritage buildings of Kerala.
 

A new building  was commissioned in 1887 by Bishop D. J.Gomes Ferreira as the old church was demolished by the British. Consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz  was proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984. This is  one of the eight finest and most impressive Basilicas in India.

 Year round people  visit this Beautiful Roman Catholic Church built in Gothic style and appreciate the masterly work. It is close to St. Francis Church.

Ref:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Cruz_Basilica