Timings : 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Time Required : Less than 1 hour
Entry Fee : No entry fee
The Schwartz church in Thanjavur is one of the oldest churches of India, though it has not gained much popularity throughout the country. It is because unlike the rest, the cornerstone of this church was laid down by an Indian king, Maratha ruler Sarfoji II. When the Marathas ruled over Thanjavur, he came in touch with the Prussian Lutheran missionary Rev Friedrich Schwartz and became his disciple. Although he retained his original Hindu religion, there was a great deal of love, friendship and respect between the two. To pay tribute, Sarfoji built the church in around 1779. Earlier it was just called Big Church, and it stood tall and white in the Thanjavur Gardens or the Sivaganga Park.
Schwartz spent the rest of his life there, teaching kids and preaching religion. There is a marble installation in the church which you should not miss seeing at all. The carvings depict the death of Schwartz as he gives his final blessings to the king, surrounded by others. Although quaint and peaceful, and nothing much ornate, you can realize the vintage charm when you step in the premises. Unlike most of the Catholic churches, this one was not built out of love for God and to propagate Christianity. Instead, it celebrates love and respect between two religions, which is very significant.
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