Chinese Fishing Nets
The area covering the Chinese Fishing Nets in Fort Kochi is one that most tourists to the city don’t wanna miss! Recalling hundreds of years of cultural presence of Chinese traders, these teak wood and bamboo poles nets stand as testament to them. You can sit on the beach side, or take a relaxing stroll on the walkway.
St. Francis CSI Church
Consecrated in 1506, this church used to house the remains of explorer Vasco da Gama, at one time, before being moved to Lisbon. The church was once a wooden building, and then was redone in stone, and later on in bricks and mortar. The Protestant Dutch demolished every other church in the area, except this one. They retained it until the British took over Kochi, and the church now became an Anglican one.The Church was declared a protected monument in April 1923 under the Protected Monuments Act of 1904. Built in 1503, it is the oldest European church in India. The church and its administration now come under the Church of South India. Tourists can visit the spot on weekdays and can attend worship on Sundays and special occasions.
Synagogue Lane in Mattancherry, or Jew Street as it’s commonly houses India’s most famous and the subcontinent’s oldest Synagogue. The Paradesi Syngagogue was built in 1568 by Samuel Castiel, David Belila and Joseph Levi, and attracted a lot of Jews from all over the world to Kochi, and thus the name Paradesi, meaning ‘foreigners’. Jews from Malabar and Kodungaloor, who were persecuted under the Portuguese rule took refuge in Kochi’s Jew Town. Architecture of the synagogue is complete with pitched roofs, thick walls, wooden lattice screens, gablets, cusped arches and passages. The clock tower is a three-storey structure, with Dutch backgrounds, built by the Jew Ezekial Rahabi, serving in the Dutch East India Company. There are three existing dials made of teak. Facing the maharajah’s palace, and written in old Malayalam letters, and then to the south, viewed from Jew Town, they are Roman numerals, and when you look from the synagogue side, they are written in Hebrew letters. On the eastern side of the compound is a playground that was once used by Jewish children.
Santa Cruz Basilica
One of Kochi’s most known and recognised religious and cultural symbols. This cathedral, built as a church by the Portuguese, is one of the eight Basilicas in India. The permission to build a church in the area was given to the Portuguese by the then Kochi Raja after the former helped the king defeat the Zamorin’s army. As the foundation stone of the Santa Cruz church was laid on the feast day of the Invention of the Holy Cross in 1505, it was named Santa Cruz. The Dutch who conquered the Portuguese, used the cathedral as an armoury, and later it fell into the hands of the British in 1795. The cathedral is adorned with frescoes, murals and several canvas paintings.
The Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese, on the land provided by the then Kochi Raja. The Dutch who came later, refurbished renovations in the palace in 1663, and thereafter it was known as the Dutch Palace. The palace is built in the typical Nalukettu style. Within the courtyard there stands a small temple dedicated to 'Pazhayannur Bhagavati', the family deity of the Kochi royal family. There are two other temples on either side of the palace, one dedicated to Lord Krishna and the other to Lord Siva.The highlights of this famous palace are its Hindu temple murals, portraits of Kochi rajas and the ornate dining hall. The king's bedchamber is adorned with 48 paintings that depict scenes and characters from the epic Ramayana. Visitors can also find currency, stamps official attire and royal parasols used by the kings. The palace was once restored by the Indian government in 1951, and is now in the process of a second restoration by the Archaeological Survey of India. Hundreds of tourists – Indian and foreign – visit the palace every day.