Santa Cruz Basilica

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica Church, Santa Cruz Rd, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, Indija

Website of the Sanctuary

+91 484 221 57 99

Every day: from 6.00 to 8.00 pm

The Santa Cruz Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in India. Counted as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala, this church is one of the finest and most impressive churches in India and visited by tourists the whole year round.

It is a place of devotion as well as a center of historic significance, endowed with architectural and artistic grandeur and colours of the gothic style.

Santa Cruz Basilica

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Santa Cruz Basilica

The church has two lofty spires and remarkably bright, white washed exterior and a pastel colored interior. The interiors of the church are mostly a blend of the Indo – European and the gothic style, with the main altar decorated by the famous Italian painter Bro. Antonio Moscheni, S.J., and his disciple De Gama of Bangalore.

The columns are decorated with frescoes and murals, the seven large canvas paintings on the passion and death on the Cross, especially the painting of the Last Supper, modeled on the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci and the beautiful stained glass windows add to the artistic grandeur of the place. The paintings that adorn the ceiling depict scenes from the life of Christ.

The making of the pulpit and the wooden paneling of this cathedral is very impressive. A huge decorative granite pillar in the south eastern corner of Santa Cruz Basilica is a remnant of the original Cathedral destroyed by the British.

Building the 1st church

1500 – Portuguese arrival. The history of Santa Cruz Basilica begins with the arrival of Portuguese missionaries along with the second Portuguese fleet under Pedro Álvares Cabral on December 24, 1500AD. The Cochin King Godha Varma I received them very warmly.

This caused the Zamorin of Calicut to declare war against Cochin. But the Portuguese army under Commander Dom Afonso de Albuquerque who reached Cochin in 1503 defeated the enemies of the King of Cochin and in return he gave them permission to build a fort in Cochin.

1505 – Building the 1st church. In 1505, Dom Francisco de Almeida the first Portuguese Viceroy got permission from the Cochin Raja to build a church edifice using stones and mortar which was unheard of at that time as the local prejudices were against such a structure for any purpose other than a royal palace or a temple.

The foundation stone of the Santa Cruz church was laid on May 3, 1505, the feast day of the ‘Invention of the Holy Cross’, hence the magnificent edifice when completed was named Santa Cruz. This Church was located on the eastern side of the present Children’s Park, Fort Cochin.

1558 – Raising to the Status of Cathedral. In 1558, Pope Paul IV, raised the Santa Cruz Church to the status of a Cathedral along with the foundation of the Cochin diocese as the second diocese in India. Afterwards when the Dutch conquered Cochin in 1663, they destroyed all catholic buildings. Only the St. Francis Church and the Cathedral escaped this fate.

The Dutch made the Cathedral their arms storehouse. Later it fell into the hands of the British who demolished it when they took over Cochin in 1795. One of the decorative granite pillars of the destroyed Cathedral is still kept as a monument at the southeastern corner of the present Basilica premises.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Raising to Basilica

1887 – Rebuilding the Cathedral. About 100 years later, Bishop D. Joao Gomes Ferreira (1887-1897) who reached Cochin took initiative to erect the present Cathedral and commenced the construction, but it was the next bishop, D. Maheus de Oliveira Xavier (1897-1909) who completed the edifice. The Cathedral was consecrated on November 19, 1905 by Dom Sebastiao Jose Pereira, Bishop of Damao.

1984 – Raising to Basilica. Considering the antiquity, artistic dignity and historical significance, Blessed Pope John Paul II, by his Decree Constat Sane Templum Sanctae Cruci of December 19, 1984, raised the Santa Cruz Cathedral to the status of Basilica.

2004 – Celebrating the Quincentenary. Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is a Roman Catholic place of worship that celebrated five centuries of its existence only very recently in 2004.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

  • Weekdays 6.00 am, 7.00 am & 6.00 pm in Malayalam
  • Wednesday 6.00 pm in English
  • Saturday evening mass at 5.00 pm. in Malayalam
  • Sundays
    • 5.30 am
    • 6.45 am [Missa pro Populo]
    • 8.00 am [Mass for Sunday Catechism Students]
    • 9.30 am – all masses in Malayalam.
    • 5.30 pm in English
    • Mass on last Sunday of the month in Latin

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica

The church has two lofty spires and remarkably bright, white washed exterior and a pastel colored interior. The interiors of the church are mostly a blend of the Indo – European and the gothic style, with the main altar decorated by the famous Italian painter Bro. Antonio Moscheni, S.J., and his disciple De Gama of Bangalore.

The columns are decorated with frescoes and murals, the seven large canvas paintings on the passion and death on the Cross, especially the painting of the Last Supper, modeled on the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci and the beautiful stained glass windows add to the artistic grandeur of the place. The paintings that adorn the ceiling depict scenes from the life of Christ.

The making of the pulpit and the wooden paneling of this cathedral is very impressive. A huge decorative granite pillar in the south eastern corner of Santa Cruz Basilica is a remnant of the original Cathedral destroyed by the British.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Building the 1st church

1500 – Portuguese arrival. The history of Santa Cruz Basilica begins with the arrival of Portuguese missionaries along with the second Portuguese fleet under Pedro Álvares Cabral on December 24, 1500AD. The Cochin King Godha Varma I received them very warmly. This caused the Zamorin of Calicut to declare war against Cochin. But the Portuguese army under Commander Dom Afonso de Albuquerque who reached Cochin in 1503 defeated the enemies of the King of Cochin and in return he gave them permission to build a fort in Cochin.

1505 – Building the 1st church. In 1505, Dom Francisco de Almeida the first Portuguese Viceroy got permission from the Cochin Raja to build a church edifice using stones and mortar which was unheard of at that time as the local prejudices were against such a structure for any purpose other than a royal palace or a temple. The foundation stone of the Santa Cruz church was laid on May 3, 1505, the feast day of the ‘Invention of the Holy Cross’, hence the magnificent edifice when completed was named Santa Cruz. This Church was located on the eastern side of the present Children’s Park, Fort Cochin.

1558 – Raising to the Status of Cathedral. In 1558, Pope Paul IV, raised the Santa Cruz Church to the status of a Cathedral along with the foundation of the Cochin diocese as the second diocese in India. Afterwards when the Dutch conquered Cochin in 1663, they destroyed all catholic buildings. Only the St. Francis Church and the Cathedral escaped this fate. The Dutch made the Cathedral their arms storehouse. Later it fell into the hands of the British who demolished it when they took over Cochin in 1795. One of the decorative granite pillars of the destroyed Cathedral is still kept as a monument at the southeastern corner of the present Basilica premises.

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

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