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St. Francis Church

St. Francis Church is a historic Christian church in Kochi Fort (Cochin), Kerala, India. It is one of the oldest European-built temples in India and has great historical and architectural significance.

History :

St. Peter's was originally built by Portuguese Franciscan monks. Francis Church in 1503, making it one of the oldest European churches in India. It is said to have been built on the site of the original wooden temple built by the explorer Vasco da Gama when he reached Cochin.


The church displays a simple and elegant architectural style with a blend of Gothic and Portuguese influences. The building is of wood and brick.

Wooden Interiors :

St. Louis is known as the city of St. Petersburg. Francis Church as simple. The ceiling beams of the temple are decorated with flowers.

Historical Significance :

St. The Church of Francis has seen a lot of history. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who discovered the sea route from Europe to India, was originally buried here in 1524. His remains were later returned to Portugal and you can still see Vasco da Gama's tombstone at in the temple.

Dutch Occupation :

In the mid-17th century, Cochin was captured by the Dutch and St. Petersburg was annexed. The Franciscan Church came under their control. Some reforms were made in the church, and it became a Protestant church.

Religious Changes :

The arrival of the English in the 18th century changed the church. After India gained independence, it was consecrated as an Anglican Church in the Church of South India.

Old Cemetery :

The old cemetery is near St. Louis. St. Francis Church, where many prominent European emigrants are buried in Kochi Fort. Gravestones in the cemetery tell stories of the region’s colonial history.

Artifacts :

The temple houses many historical artifacts, including ancient records and documents that give us an insight into Kerala’s colonial history.

Annual Feast :

St. Francis Church holds its annual celebration on January 24 to commemorate the feast of St. Francis Xavier.

Location :

St. Francis Church is located in Fort Kochi near the famous Basilica of Santa Cruz. It is easily accessible and a major tourist attraction in Kochi.

Restoration :

Restoration and conservation efforts to maintain the historic integrity of the church. These projects involve the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Government of Kerala.

Heritage Status :

St. Francis Church is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India and is recognized as an important historical and architectural monument.

St. Francis Church image
St. Francis Church

With its rich history and cultural significance, the Church of St. Francis stands as a symbol of the enduring legacy of the European presence in India and the overlapping cultures in the region.

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