Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace, is a historical palace located in Mattancherry, a neighborhood in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India. Here are some key details about Mattancherry Palace:
- History: Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century as a gift to the King of Cochin, Veera Kerala Varma. It served as the residence of the Cochin royal family. Later, in the 17th century, the Dutch made significant renovations to the palace, which is why it is often referred to as the Dutch Palace.
- Architecture: The architecture of Mattancherry Palace reflects a blend of traditional Kerala style and European influences. The palace features a courtyard in the center and has a two-storied structure with a sloping roof. The wooden ceilings are adorned with intricate carvings, and the walls are adorned with beautiful murals depicting Hindu mythological scenes and portraits of the Cochin Rajas.
- Mural Paintings: One of the highlights of Mattancherry Palace is its stunning mural paintings. The palace houses a remarkable collection of frescoes, showcasing scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other Hindu mythological stories. The artwork is characterized by vibrant colors and intricate detailing, providing insights into the artistic traditions of the time.
- Museum: Today, Mattancherry Palace functions as a museum that showcases a variety of artifacts and historical exhibits. The museum displays items like royal costumes, weapons, utensils, furniture, and portraits of the Cochin Rajas. It offers visitors a glimpse into the cultural and historical heritage of Kerala.
- Jewish Connection: Mattancherry Palace is also associated with the Jewish community in Kochi. It is located close to the historic Jewish neighborhood of Jew Town, which housed the Paradesi Synagogue. The proximity of the palace to the Jewish settlement highlights the multicultural and diverse nature of Kochi’s history.
- Tourist Attraction: Mattancherry Palace is a popular tourist destination in Kochi, drawing visitors from around the world. It is recognized for its architectural beauty, historical significance, and the captivating mural paintings that depict ancient tales. The palace provides a fascinating insight into the rich cultural tapestry of Kerala.
Mattancherry Palace stands as a testament to the vibrant history and architectural splendor of Kochi. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the royal heritage of Kerala and appreciate the artistic treasures housed within its walls.