St. Francis Church

Posted Date: 27 Jan 2010      Author: Latha Jayaprakash    Member Level: Gold (Rs 50)

St Francis Church is the oldest and the first European church to be built in Fort Kochi, which is said to be the first ever European settlement in India.

The History of the St Francis Church reflects the colonial struggle between the European powers in India, from the 15th to 20th Centuries.

Vasco Da Gama was the first European to set foot in India and in 1503 Alphonso Alburquerque was allowed by the Raja of Cochin to build a fort and within the fort they built a church dedicated to St. Bartholomew. In 1516 another one built in the place and was dedicated to St. Antony.

Till the Dutch arrived in 1663 the church remained to the order of St. Francis. The Dutch demolished the churches and the convents except the Church of Franciscans, which they made their Government church. Then came the British and at some point of time, changed the patron saint's name to St. Francis.

You can see graveyard stones of the Portuguese on the northern side, Dutch gravestones on the southern side wall with Vasco da Gama on the ground on the southern side.
The church was made a protected monument in 1923 and the cenatoph in memory of the residents of Cochin who fell in

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