At A Glimpse
The Santa Cruz Basilica, a catholic church belonging to the Diocese of Cochin, the 2nd oldest Diocese in India (est 1558 A.D.) and the 1st in Kerala, built originally by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558, was spared by the Dutch conquerors who destroyed many catholic buildings. Later the British demolished the structure and Bishop Joao Gomes Ferreira [1887-1897] commissioned a new building in 1887. Bishop Matheus De Oliveira Xavier [1897-1909] consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz was proclaimed a Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in 1984.
This Church is a place of devotion as well as a centre of historic significance, endowed with architectural and artistic grandeur and colours of the gothic style. Located close to St. Francis Church it is the Cathedral Church’ of the diocese of Cochin. This magnificent church is a must see destination for tourists and a definite shelter of trust and worship for faithful who come to Cochin.
Attractive features of this Basilica
The church has two lofty spires and remarkably bright, white washed exterior and a pastel colored interior. The interiors of the church are mostly a blend of the Indo - European and the gothic style, with the main altar decorated by the famous Italian painter Bro. Antonio Moscheni, S.J., and his disciple De Gama of Bangalore. The columns are decorated with frescoes and murals, the seven large canvas paintings on the passion and death on the Cross, especially the painting of the Last Supper, modeled on the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci and the beautiful stained glass windows add to the artistic grandeur of the place. The paintings that adorn the ceiling depict scenes from the life of Christ. The making of the pulpit and the wooden paneling of this cathedral is very impressive. A huge decorative granite pillar in the south eastern corner of Santa Cruz Basilica is a remnant of the original Cathedral destroyed by the British.