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, its 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.

Memorial inscriptions

  • Martin Krieger has transcribed available memorial inscriptions from the church. These can be viewed via the FIBIS database.
  • The Dutch Churchbook of St Francis Church, Cochin, in the form of a xerox copy held at the British Library India Office, London, has been microfilmed by FamilySearch and is available at FamilySearch Centres and FS Affiliate Libraries as digitised microfilm 498601, catalogue entry. A transcribed index of the names in this book, together with dates of death, can be seen on the Cochin Churchbook website, now archived. The dates of death cover the period 1751-1804.

See also

External links