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Santa Cruz Basilica
The history of Santa Cruz Basilica begins with the arrival of Portuguese missionaries along with the second basilica Portuguese fleet under Pedro Álvares Cabral on December 24, 1500 AD.
The Portuguese built Basilica’s 500th anniversary was very recently. With gracious and admiring interiors, Gothic facade with soaring and dazzling spires the Basilica is a charming prayer home. the interiors are decorated with colorful Indo-Romano style of decoration.The Dutch catch of Kochi in 24 December 1500 AD resulted in booming of warehouses in places of worships. The irresistible beauty garnered by stained glass and the imposing Caryatids over the confessional boxes might have persuaded the Dutch to spare it. Founded soon after the arrival of the first Portuguese visitors to India.
1505 - Building the 1st church
In 1505, Dom Francisco de Almeida the first Portuguese Viceroy got permission from the Cochin Raja to build a church edifice using stones and mortar which was unheard of at that time as the local prejudices were against such a structure for any purpose other than a royal palace or a temple. The foundation stone of the Santa Cruz church was laid on May 3, 1505, the feast day of the ‘Invention of the Holy Cross’, hence the magnificent edifice when completed was named Santa Cruz. This Church was located on the eastern side of the present Children’s Park, Fort Cochin.
1558 - Raising to the Status of Cathedral
In 1558, Pope Paul IV, raised the Santa Cruz Church to the status of a Cathedral along with the foundation of the Cochin diocese as the second diocese in India. Afterwards when the Dutch conquered Cochin in 1663, they destroyed all catholic buildings. Only the St. Francis Church and the Cathedral escaped this fate. The Dutch made the Cathedral their arms storehouse. Later it fell into the hands of the British who demolished it when they took over Cochin in 1795. One of the decorative granite pillars of the destroyed Cathedral is still kept as a monument at the southeastern corner of the present Basilica premises. 1887 - Rebuilding the Cathedral About 100 years later, Bishop D. Joao Gomes Ferreira (1887-1897) who reached Cochin took initiative to erect the present Cathedral and commenced the construction, but it was the next bishop, D. Maheus de Oliveira Xavier (1897-1909) who completed the edifice. The Cathedral was consecrated on November 19, 1905 by Dom Sebastiao Jose Pereira, Bishop of Damao. 1984 - Raising to Basilica Considering the antiquity, artistic dignity and historical significance, Blessed Pope John Paul II, by his Decree Constat Sane Templum Sanctae Cruci of December 19, 1984, raised the Santa Cruz Cathedral to the status of Basilica. 2004 - Celebrating the Quin centenary Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is a Roman Catholic place of worship that celebrated five centuries of its existence only very recently in 2004.
Located on Rampart Street
Open: 9-1 and 3-5 with Masses at 7 am and 6 pm. Mass on Saturday at 6pm is in English