Saint Francis’ Church inside Fort Kochi (Fort Cochin) is one of the first European churches built in India. The Portuguese traders who built Fort Kochi in 1503 took the same route used by the legendary Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the first man to reach India by sea, to reach India in 1498.
Saint Francis’ Church was built over an earlier wooden church dedicated St. Bartholomew. The Portuguese Viceroy, Dom Francisco Almedia was granted permission by the Raja of Cochin for permission to rebuild the wooden church and dedicate it to Saint Anthony between 1510 and 1516.
The Dutch captured Fort Kochi in 1663, and converted the building into their protestant government church. Fort Kochi remained in Dutch control until 1795 when the British conquered the fort. The Dutch handed the church to the British Anglican Communion in 1804, and the church was renamed to Saint Francis’ Church.
On his third visit to India in 1524, Vasco da Gama died in Fort Kochi, and was buried in the church graveyard where his tomb stone can still be seen.
The best weather to visit Fort Kochi and Saint Francis’ Church falls between October and April. Heavy rains fall in the region between June and August, but the rains refreshingly lower the temperature and cause the lush tropic scenery in the area to bloom with life.
Saint Francis’ Church is located inside Fort Kochi in the port city of Kochi in the Southern Indian state of Kerala. Guests traveling with us on a luxury tour of India can easily reach the church using our private vehicle service while exploring the multi-colonial nature of Kochi.
There are few places in India’s long history that have felt the presence of so many different European civilizations in such a small area. Exploring the impressions that the Portuguese, Dutch, and British left on Kochi’s culture is a rare treat for our guests.
Appropriate Attire :
Dress for warm weather while visiting this tropical destination on the Arabian Coast.