Santa Cruz Basilica

Weather :

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Santa Cruz Basilica, Kochi Overview

The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is located at Fort Kochi and is one of the eight Basilicas in India. Located on K.B. Jacob Road in Fort Kochi, this beautiful roman catholic church serves as the cathedral church of the Diocese of Kochi. The church is the second cathedral built by the Portuguese. The first one was used by the Dutch to store ammunition and was later destroyed by the Britishers. The construction of this second cathedral took place from 1876-1905, and it was consecrated on November 19, 1905. However, the church has been there at this place for over five centuries. Hence, the Cathedral not only happens to be one of the oldest churches in Kochi but also in the whole of India.

This holy place is a centre of great historical significance and exhibits marvellous artistic splendour. Showcasing the colours of medieval times, this place was elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. The Cathedral has a white-washed exterior and a pastel-coloured interior. It is adorned with paintings and murals of the Gothic style. The columns are decorated with frescoes, and there are seven large canvas paintings along with the beautiful stained glass windows. The ceiling holds some beautifully painted images depicting the images of Via Crucis of Christ. This Cathedral holds a special significance for the Christians residing in the city of Kochi as it celebrates the dawn of their religion in the land of India.

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History of Santa Cruz Basilica

Santa Cruz Basilica was constructed by Francesco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy, during his visit to Kochi in 1505. In the same year on 3rd May, this cathedral was founded and christened as Santa Cruz Cathedral. This day was celebrated as the feast day of 'the Invention of the Holy Cross', hence on its completion, it was named as Santa Cruz Basilica. Further, in the year 1663, some ugly instances occurred in Kochi.

The Dutch captured Kochi and ruined all Catholic establishments except the famous St. Francis Church and Santa Cruz Cathedral. Unfortunately, in the year 1795, it was destroyed when British took over the Kochi city. Only a granite pillar of this grand cathedral was left after the devastation of the Santa Cruz Cathedral, and till date, it is kept in the southeastern corner of the cathedral. Bishop Dom Gomes Ferreira was appointed as the hierarch of Kochi in 1887, after which he rebuilt this cathedral, and it was blessed on November 19, 1902. His efforts came to light during the rule of his successor Dom Mateus Oliveira Xavier. Santa Cruz was stated a Basilica by Pope John Paul II on 23rd August 1984.

Architecture of Santa Cruz Basilica

The architecture of the basilica depicts a beautiful blend of the Indo-European and the gothic style. The making of the pulpit and the wooden panelling of this cathedral is very impressive. MThe wooden panels and pulpit are beautifully crafted. The visitors can spot the presence of some exquisite paintings of Italian Origin inside this Cathedral.  The most alluring aspect of this Cathedral is the brilliant use of pastel shades. Moreover, the paintings,  done by Brother Jesuit Fra Antonio Moscheni, an Italian Painter from Bergamo (Italy), from the time of the original foundation of the church adorn the interiors and ceiling of the Santa Cruz Basilica. These breathtaking paintings are based on the theme 'The Passion and Death on the Cross' and 'The Last Supper'. The ceilings are beautifully embellished by the frescoes and murals based on the life of Christ, while the stained glass windows further accentuate the beauty. This fantastic construction also has two lofty spires that welcome all even from a distance. The Cathedral showcases some overwhelming arches and a splendid altar.

Mass Timings

Wednesday - 6:00 PM
Sunday- 5:30 PM

Please note: The mass is conducted in the English language

Photography

How To Reach Santa Cruz Basilica

You can access Fort Kochi by bus, cab or boat from Ernakulam. The nearest railway station is Ernakulam, which is about 12 km from the Cathedral. The nearest airport is the Kochi International Airport, which is about 45 km from the Cathedral.

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