St. Francis Church
The St. Francis Church is believed to be the oldest church in India, built by the Europeans. Originally built in 1503, the church was initially a simple wooden structure. It was reconstructed in stone by the then Portuguese Viceroy, Dom Francisco Almedia.
The legend goes that on his third visit to India, the great Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama fell ill and died. He was buried in the St. Francis church. But, later his remains were transferred to Lisbon, Portugal.
Vasco Da Gama Square
If you want to witness the local fishermen undertake a unique style of fishing, the Vasco da Gama square is the perfect place to do so. These nets are unique in the sense that they are fixed land installations unlike the other nets that are not fixed to the land. These 10-metre high netsrequireup to six men to operate one fully installed net! Amazing, isn’t it? Historians believe that the fishing nets were gifted by Chinese Emperor Kubalagi to the then Cochin King.Apart from China, these fishing nets are found in Kochi only.
A great place to enjoy a laidback evening, you can also gorge on the mouth-watering seafood from the smallstalls nearby.
The Roman Catholic Basilica of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Basilica is considered amongst the oldest churches in Kochi. It is also one of the eight Basilicas in the country and was built by the first Portuguese viceroy, Francesco de Almeida.
Along with other monuments and places, this church was also destroyed in 1663, when the Dutch conquered the city. During that time, it was used as an arsenal (a place where weapons are kept). At the top of the church’s main altar is a beautiful painting, made on the lines of ‘Last Supper’, a renowned piece of work by the great artist, Leonardo da Vinci. The glass windows and elaborate wall carvings add to the charm of the place.
The Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace, has quite an interesting story behind it. The Portuguese built the palace and gifted it to the Kochi Rajas. But, soon the Dutch took control of the region and made significant changes, renovations and extensions of their own – hence, it is also known as the Dutch Palace. Interestingly, it features pieces of artwork dedicated to various Hindu deities and scenes from Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, along with a gallery containing royal possessions such as turbans, attires and weapons of the Kochi Rajas.
Every city or town has that one happening street that all shopping lovers would like to visit first. One such popular street in Kochi is the Princess Street. The major highlight of this street is the impressive, heritage-like bungalows constructed on both sides of the road. Showcasing European architectural style and symbolic of the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British influence on the region, these bungalows are just too beautiful to let go off a photo opportunity here.