Chinese Fishing Nets & Vasco Da Gama Square :

A vivid legacy of one of the earliest people to call on the Malabar Coast, these nets is unmistakable as one enters the harbour. Records show that they were first erected between AD 1350 and 450. Constructed out of Teak wood and Bamboo poles, they work on the principle of balance. The sight of catch being brought in and the nets being lowered back into the sea is one not to be missed.

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The best place to watch is from Vasco Da Gama Square, a narrow promenade that parallels the beach with little stalls that serve fresh seafood, tender coconuts and so on.


 

The Dutch Cemetery

Consecrated in 1724 and now managed by the Church of South India, the inscriptions found here are some of the most authentic reminders of the countless men and women who left their European houses behind to play out their roles on the colonial canvas of 17th, 18th and 19th century Fort Cochin.

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St Francis Church

Considered the oldest church, St. Francis was originally Roman Church during the Portuguese period from 1503 to 1663 Dutch Reform from 1664 to 1804, and Anglican from 1804 to 1947. Today it is governed by the Church of South India. The building was originally constructed out of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry during the 16th century. Vasco Da Gama who died in Cochin in 1524 was buried here before his remains were returned to Portugal 14 years later. The Tombstone still remains.

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Santa Cruz Basilica

Built by the Portuguese in 1505, the church was elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. Spared by the Dutch conquerors of Cochin who destroyed many Catholic buildings in 1663, it later fell into the hands of the British who demolished it when they took over Cochin in 1795 For almost a hundred years there was no church on the site, until Bishop Dom Govem Vereira commissioned a new building in 1887, Consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz was

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proclaimed a Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in 1984. Typical structure a mixture of Kerala-Porteuguese-Gothic-Burrock styles.


 

Portuguese Museum - Bishop's House

Located at the Cochin Bishop’s House, this throws light into the Portuguese reign and the activities during the period. A good collection of some rare artifacts can be seen here. 

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Dutch Palace, Mattancherry

Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma, the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. The double storeyed building has an exquisite collection of mural painting covering over 300 sq ft of its walls. The themes of these have been borrowed from the Great Indian epics – the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Also on display are the royal paraphernalia like weapons, swings and furniture which offer a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family.

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Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry

Built in 1568, this synagogue is the oldest in the Common wealth. This was destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662; it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Mid 18th century hand painted, willow patterned floor tiles from China, chandeliers from Belgium. a unique clock tower, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, great scrolls of the Old Testament and a gold plated pulpit – these are a few articles of interest at the Synagogue

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Bastion Bungalow

Located on the site of the Stromberg Bastion of the old Dutch fort, the bungalow fuses beautifully into the circular structure of the bastion. Planned way back in 1667, it is Indo-European in style, sporting a tiled roof and a typical first floor verandah in wood running along its front. Though there are innumerable tales of a network of secret tunnels beneath the house, none have ever been substantiated. Today it serves as the official residence of the Sub-Collector


 

Maritime Museum

Located at INS Dronacharya, the Maritime Museum throws light on the evolution and landmarks of the Maritime India, Right from the Indus valley civilization to the ship building activity and the evolution of the Navy. A good light and sound show takes you into all these.