The Santa Cruz Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica located in Fort Kochi, Kerala, India. It is one of the eight basilicas in India and holds great historical and architectural significance. The basilica is a prominent landmark in Fort Kochi and a popular tourist attraction.
The Santa Cruz Basilica has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. The original church was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and was called the “Santa Cruz Church.” However, the church faced destruction during the invasions of the Dutch in 1663. In the late 19th century, the British took over the territory, and it was Bishop Dom Gomez Ferreira who took the initiative to rebuild the church.
The reconstruction of the church began in 1887, and the church was elevated to the status of a cathedral in 1558. Further renovations and additions took place over the years, and in 1984, Pope John Paul II elevated the church to the status of a basilica, bestowing it with the title “Santa Cruz Basilica.”
The Santa Cruz Basilica exhibits an architectural style that combines elements of Indo-European and Gothic styles. The facade of the basilica is impressive, showcasing two tall spires on each side and a large rose window in the center. The interiors are adorned with beautiful paintings and intricate detailing, creating a serene and awe-inspiring atmosphere for visitors.
The basilica is known for its large and elegant wooden pulpit, which is a remarkable feature of the interior. The pulpit’s intricate carvings and craftsmanship are notable examples of the artistry prevalent during that period.
Visiting the Santa Cruz Basilica
As a popular tourist destination, the Santa Cruz Basilica welcomes visitors from all over the world. The basilica holds regular mass and religious services for the local Catholic community, and tourists are also allowed to explore the basilica during non-service hours. Visitors often appreciate the architectural beauty, historical significance, and religious ambiance of this iconic structure.
Please note that while the information provided here is accurate up to September 2021, there might have been additional developments or changes related to the Santa Cruz Basilica since then. If you plan to visit, it’s a good idea to check for the latest information and visiting hours before making any travel arrangements.