ST. FRANCIS CHURCH, FORT KOCHI
Fort Cochin is believed to be the oldest European Settlement in India and St. Francis Church was the first European Church to be built in India. The history of this Church reflects the colonial struggle of European powers in India, from the 15th to 20th Centuries. The Portuguese Vasco da Gama was the first European to discover the sea route to India. In 1503 Alphonso Albuquerque was given permission by the Rajah of Cochin to build a fort at the mouth of the river. Within the Fort they erected a church of wood, which was dedicated to St. Bartholomew. A new Church was completed in 1516 and dedicated to St. Antony. The Church remained in the Order of St. Francis until the arrival of the Dutch in 1663. They demolished all the convents and churches of the place, except the Church of the Franciscans, which they reconditioned and converted into their Government Church.
The change of name of the patron saint was presumably during the time of to the Anglicans. On the northern side can be seen Portuguese gravestones. The Dutch gravestones are on the southern wall. The Vasco da Gama stone is on the ground at the southern side. The Church became a protected monument in April 1923 under the Protected Monuments Act of 1904. The Cenotaph in memory of the residents of Cochin who fell in the First Great War was erected in 1920.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
St. Francis CSI Church, in Kochi , earlier called Cochin, originally built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent. The Portuguese explorer, 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 remains were removed to Lisbon. More...
A Igreja de São Francisco, em Cochim, originalmente construída pelos portugueses em 1503 é a mais antiga igreja Europeia na Índia e tem um grande significado histórico como testemunho das lutas coloniais europeias no subcontinente indiano. O navegador português Vasco da Gama morreu em Cochim em 1524 na sua terceira visita à Índia. O seu corpo foi inicialmente sepultado nesta igreja, mas após catorze anos seus restos mortais foram trasladados para Lisboa. O túmulo de Vasco da Gama ainda pode ser visto aqui, no chão, no lado sul. As lápides de portugueses estão na parte lateral do Norte e as holandesas na parede sul. Um mausoléu em memória dos moradores de Cochim que caíram na Primeira Guerra Mundial foi erguido em 1920. More...
Fort Cochin is the oldest European settlement in India and St Francis Church is the first European church that was built in India. The history of this Church reflects the colonial struggle of European powers in India from the 15th to 20th centuries. More...[VIDEO] St. Francis Church, India's oldest European church located at Fort Kochi. More...