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St. Francis Church Cochin

St. Francis Church, Kerala

St. Francis Church is the first Portuguese-style church of India. This is perhaps the oldest existing church constructed by Portuguese Franciscans in India. It was built in 1503, during the expansion of the Portuguese kingdom in the east. A few myths claim that it is popular because Vasco De Gama was buried here after his death in 1524. However in the mid 16th century, his remains were sent to Lisbon.

St. Francis Church was initially built of wood but was later renovated and rebuilt in stone. This church, with unique gravestones, has an arch at the foyer with tainted glass windows, and rope-operated wood-and-cloth fans or pankhas. Built by Portuguese, St. Francis Church was later administered by the Dutch.  Later, during the establishment of the East India Company in India, the British took over it. Today all the administrative tasks regarding St. Francis Church have been taken over by the Church of South India.

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