St Francis Church, Cochin
St Francis Church in Cochin is the oldest European church in India. The church is in the Fort Cochin area of the city.
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.
Martin Krieger has transcribed available memorial inscriptions from the church. These can be viewed via the FIBIS database.
- Archived Cochin Churchbook website The dates of death cover the period 1751-1804
- St. Francis Church on Wikipedia
- "Steeped in history: The St. Francis Church in Kochi has seen it all" by Geeta Padmanabhan May 05, 2008 The Hindu Chennai