Thursday, 14 July 2016

Vasco House where Vasco de gama stayed !!, Kochi


Vasco house, Kochi. www.buzzintown.com
Portugal, Lisbon: Tomb of Vasco da Gama inside of the monastery church Santa Maria . www.alamy.com
Vasco Da Gama, en.wikipedia.org

'Vasco Da Gama (1460s - 1524) a sea-voyager as we all know, made history by finding first sea route to India from Europe via the Atlantic Ocean, Indian ocean and the Arabian sea. It happened at a crucial time, particularly when the land route through the West Asia and  the Mediterranean was cut off due to the  rise of Ottoman empire  and threats to Christians. (the Ottomans put an end to the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror). Da Gama landed on the Kappad beach, near Kozhicode (now a big city), Kerala on May 20, 1498 AD.  The outward and return voyages made on this expedition by Gama, covering a vast distance is the  the longest perilous ocean voyage ever made without major ship- wrecks, pirate attacks, etc. Unopposed direct access to the Indian spice market was an added advantage for Portugal and it vastly improved their economy.

Vasco de gama's signature. en.wikipedia.org  

 'Vasco House' is believed to be the house where Vasco Da Gama stayed during his visits to Kochi, right until his death in 1524. This historical and heritage house is  more than 500 years old and is located on  Rose Street at Fort Kochi. The house, built in the Portuguese style of architecture,  was an early European-style building and this pioneering structure gave inspiration to other Europeans  to build  structures in European style in and around Kochi , using the local talents and incorporating the local style as well. Considering the tropical climate and the Monsoon seasons, these building were well aerated and inside the building the  radiation was less during hot seasons because of high ceiling. The building is made of granite and lateite stones and the plastering is done in lime-sand mix. 

Vasco Da Gama, with zamorin ruler, india.
en.wikipedia.org
The impressive  large European styled glass-paned windows  that open towards St. Francis Church, the balcony - cum-verandahs  and the overall design of the building with  large rooms and high wooden ceiling showcase the imagination of the designers and their architectural style suitable to a particular region.  Ever since Vasco House  became a home stay, lots of visitors, both Indians and foreigners, have visited this heritage house  to enjoy the ambiance inside, which was once the residence of  one of the most famous sea explorers in the world and  who unwittingly opened the flood gate to European imperialism; the major beneficiary was the English from a tiny island!!

Vasco home stay is a nice heritage home stay facility with bed and breakfast, in the heart of Fort Cochin. The Portuguese explorer discovered the picturesque heritage village of Fort Cochin. After his trip to this place, besides the major spice trade other mercantile  trade  activities in rubber, coir palm products, coffee and tea with the Europe  increased manifold. The Portuguese, Dutch and the British have left behind their indelible legacy  on this land. In the 19th century Koch was an important sea port with major European connections. 

The historic St Francis Church where Vasco da Gama was buried is just near-by. it was originally built in 1503  and is the oldest European church in India  that stoically saw the seesaw battles among the  European colonists and Indian rulers here. Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his mortal remains were removed to Lisbon, Portugal for eternal rest there.
Ref: 

 https://www.keralatourism.org/kochi/vasco-house-fort-kochi.php


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