Santa Cruz Basilica is one most remarkable churches seen in India. Its architectural grandeur is splendid and it is truly a landmark of Kochi.
This church is situated near the St Francis Church and once you reach Fort Kochi you can get here by any road transport or use the ferry services.
History of Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
When the Portuguese landed in Kochi in year 1500 they were welcomed by King of Kochi Unni Goda Varma Tirumulpadu. At a time of war the Portuguese regiment helped defeat the King’s enemy; later they were given consent for a fort.
Later under the initiation of the Portuguese Viceroy Dom Francisco de Almeida a church was constructed next to this fort. The building of the structure commenced on 1505 on the very day the banquet for the 'Invention of the Holy Cross' was organized.Once it was completed it was named as the Santa Cruz Church and it was raised to the rank of a Cathedral in 1558 by Pope Paul IV.
The Dutch took control of Cochin in 1668 and they had demolished the Catholic buildings except Santa Cruz as well as St Francis. The Cathedral was used as arm storehouses. But after the British took over Kochi in 1795 the Santa Cruz Cathedral was demolished.
In 1887 the Bishop of Cochin Bishop D. João Gomes Ferreira took the first step to rebuild and restore this Cathedral. Bishop Mateus de Oliveira Xavier who came into power (1897-1908) completed this project.
This church carried historical importance and hence a special declaration known as "Constat Sane Templum Sanctae Cruci"was given on 23rd August 1984. After this it was promoted to the level of a Bascilica.
Architecture of Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
The Santa Cruz Cathedral is one of the eight Basilica’s currently functioning in India. The Indo-European and Gothic style makes it outstanding. It has two huge spires and the exteriors look bright. The interiors are pastel colored and the beautiful arches as well as the stained glass windows gives it an exotic look.
The key alter has been adorned by the Italian artist Fr Antonio Moscheni and his follower De Gama of Mangalore. The mural paintings and the frescoes make this Cathedral even more beautiful.
Among the several paintings that hang here the “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci is the most famous one. Other paintings include the passion of Christ and death on Cross. The ceilings are also decorated with paintings and you can also spot the the Via Crucis of Christ.
How to Reach Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
By Air:- International Airport Ernakulam is at Nedumbassery near Aluva, about 22 km from Kochi. From here you can take a cab.
By Rail:- The nearest station is at Ernakulam, about 13 km from Fort Kochi. Kochi has 2 stations, Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town.
By Bus:- Buses from Ernakulam to Fort Kochi are frequent. The bus ride from Ernakulam town, about 13 km away, takes about an hour. KSRTC Central Bus Station is near to Ernakulam Junction Railway Station.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica Address: KB Jacob Rd, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala - 682001 Phone no.:0484 221 5799
Entry Fee & Timings Santa Cruz Basilica open 09:00 am to 01:00 pm and 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm, Mass timings Wednesday 06:00 pm and Sunday 05:30pm every day, No entry fee.