Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the eight basilicas at Fort Kochi in India. This heritage building of Kerala is one of the finest and grand churches in India. It is located near the famous St. Francis Church. This Basilica works as the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Cochin, which is India’s second oldest province.
The history of Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is in the sixteenth century and starts with the arrival of Portuguese missionaries in 1500 CE. Construction began when the first Viceroy Dom Francisco de Almeida of Portugal got permission to build a church from Cochin king. The foundation stone was laid on May 3, 1505, on the day of the feast of ‘The invention of the Holy Cross’; hence, the name of the church was Santa Cruz. Meanwhile, some serious demolition and rebuilding were done in the church. The structure of the present day was consecrated on November 19, 1905. In 1984, Pope John Paul II extended the status of Santa Cruz Cathedral to Basilica for its antiquity, artistic reputation and historical significance.
In this amazing construction, there are two sparkling Spires which are welcomed by everyone from far away, external whitewashing and surprisingly bright and interior pastel-colors, with the Gothic style architecture in the interior of the church, its huge arches, and an inspiring altar gives it a jaw dropping looks. The main altar was decorated by renowned Italian painter Fred Antonio Moszny and his disciple De Swang Mangalore.
His contribution is still vivid in pillars, decorated with graffiti and murals. Seven large canvas painting, including a beautiful breeding of ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci, is a real treat for the eyes. The roofs of the church are painted with paintings that reflect the scenes of the Via Crucifix of Christ. Beautifully stained glass windows are another attraction. For the church, its unique beauty and splendor Fort has become an essential destination in Kochi.