St Francis Church, Cochin

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Facade of St Francis Church

St Francis Church in Cochin is the oldest European church in India. The church is in the Fort Cochin area of the city.


History posted outside the church - click to enlarge.

Founded by Franciscans who arrived in 1500 with the Portuguese, the church was originally Catholic and dedicated to St Anthony. The famous Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was buried in the church in 1524 - his remains were translated to Lisbon 14 years later.

In 1663 the church came under Dutch control and was converted to Protestantism, it's dedication removed. In 1804, after the British had taken possession of the area, the Dutch gave the church over to Anglicanism and St Francis became its patron.

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