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Opening timings for st francis church

All days of the week except Sunday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM

st francis church overview

#23 of 41 Places To Visit in Cochin
st francis church
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St Francis CSI Church, Fort Kochi, Kerala, 682001, India
entry fee
no entry fee
All days of the week except Sunday
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
8:30 AM - 6:30 PM
visit duration
About 1-2 hours

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st francis church

about st francis church

The oldest European church in India, St. Francis CSI church has been the symbolic site for Europe's struggle over India spanning three centuries. Built in 1504 by Portuguese, the church was originally a wooden structure and dedicated to St. Bartholomew. Later in 1506 Fransician friars rebuilt the wooden structure using stones and bricks, which has been preserved to this day. Completed a decade later, the new was dedicated to St. Anthony. In 1524 when Vasco da Gama on his third visit to India unexpectedly passed away on Christmas eve, he was buried here, though his body was moved 14 years later to Lisbon. Initially a Roman Catholic church under the auspice of the Portuguese, the church was reconditioned as a Protestant church when Kochi was captured by the Dutch in 1663. A century later in 1795, when British took over Kochi from the Dutch, the church remained under Dutch control who finally in 1804 handed it over to the Anglican Communion. It was possibly the Anglicans who changed the name of the patron saint of the church to St. Francis. With such a checkered history, the church was declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India in the April of 1923. Today it is under the auspice of the Church of South India, North Kerala Diocese. On the northern sidewall of the church you will find gravestones of Portuguese while those of the Dutch on the southern sidewall. The Dutch cemetery is possibly one of the oldest cemeteries in India. Towards the southern side of the grounds lies the gravestone of Vasco da Gama marked by a twinkling, slightly rusted golden-brown enclosure.

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