Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is one of the oldest churches of India and Cochin. It is also one of the eight Basilicas in India. Portuguese missionaries under Pedro Alavarez Cabral came to this place in Kerala on December 24, 1500 and the building a church Santacruz Basilica came into existence. It is one of the finest and important pilgrimage of Kerala. The Church is visited by thousand of tourists and devotees every year. Along with the place of worship the church represent the beautiful architectural and artistic grandeur and colors of the Gothic style. This 500 years old church came to reigns of may rulers.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica History
Portuguese missionaries under Pedro Alavarez Cabral came to India on 24 December 1500 . Kingdom of Cochin welcomed them warmly which made Zamorian of Calicut to declare war against Cochin kingdom. Portuguese army under Commander Dom Afonso de Albuquerque who reached Cochin in 1503, defeated the enemies of the King of Cochin and in return he gave them permission to build a fort in Kochi. This lead to the building of first church on the land of India. The stone base was set on May 3, 1505. Pope Paul IV raised the Santa Cruz Church to the status of a Cathedral. After some time the Dutch attacked the region and destroyed everything and only St Francis Church and this Cathedral was there which escaped from destruction. The Cathedral was uses as warehouse of arms. But in 1795, when Cochin came under British dominion the church was destroyed completely. Bishop Dom Joao Gomes Fereira on 1887 started the restoration of the church and finally Dom Mateus Oliveira Xavier. finished its construction. Pope John Paul II heralded this church a Basilica in 1984.
The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica depicts both Indo-European and Gothic architecture style. The altar of the Basilica has a fascinating painting on theme "The Passion and death on the Cross".
How to Reach
By Air– Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport to the church located about 22 km from the city.
By Train– Ernakulam Railway Station one of the major station head of South India is located about 13 km from Cochin.
By Road-Cochin has very good network of transport system. The city is well connected to other cities of Kerala and nearby states.