The Santa Cruz Basilica is a famous Roman Catholic church located in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India. It is one of the eight basilicas in the state of Kerala and is considered one of the finest examples of Portuguese architecture in India.
The history of the Santa Cruz Basilica dates back to the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in Kochi in 1502. The original church, built by the Portuguese, was commissioned by the then-viceroy, Dom Francisco de Almeida, in 1505. However, the church was destroyed by the British in 1795 during the Dutch occupation of Kochi.
The present-day Santa Cruz Basilica was constructed on the same site in 1905 by the Bishop of Kochi, Dom Mateus de Oliveira Xavier. It was elevated to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984. The basilica’s architecture reflects a blend of European and Indian influences, with its white-washed exterior, Gothic-style arches, and beautifully painted interiors.
Inside the basilica, visitors can admire stunning stained glass windows depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, as well as intricate woodwork and ornamental artwork. The main altar of the church is adorned with a large painting of the Last Supper.
The Santa Cruz Basilica holds religious significance for the local Christian community and is a popular tourist attraction in Kochi. It attracts visitors with its historical charm, architectural grandeur, and serene ambiance. The basilica also hosts regular religious ceremonies and masses for worshippers and tourists alike.
Overall, the Santa Cruz Basilica stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage and architectural legacy left behind by the Portuguese in Kochi, India.