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Fort Kochi

Mattancherry Palace /Dutch Palace (Open 1000 -17000 hrs, Closed on Fridays)

Built by the Portuguese in 1557and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi.the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. On display here are beautiful murals depicting Scenes from the epics ,Ramayana and Mahabharata ,and some of the Puranic Hindu legends .The palace also houses Dutch maps of old Kochi,royal palanquins, coronation robes of former Maharajas of Kochi as well as period furniture.

Synagogue (Open 1000-1200 hrs, 1500 -1700 hrs, Closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish Holidays)

Construction in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the common wealth. Destroyed in shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662.it was rebuilt two years later by Dutch .Known for mid 18th Century hand painted, willow patterned floor tiles from Canton in China, a clock tower .Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, great scrolls of the Old Testament .ancient scripts on copper plates etc.

Jew Town: The area around the Synagogue is centre of spice trade and curio shops.
 
Chinese Fishing Nets /Vasco da Gama Square
 
The huge cantilevered fishing nets are the legacy of one of the first visitors to the Malabar Coast. Erected here between 1350 and 1450 AD by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these nets are set up on teak wood and Bamboo Poles. The best place to watch the net is lowered in to the sea and the catch being brought in is the Vasco da Gama Square, a narrow promenade that runs along the beach.
 
Pierce Leslie Bungalow
 
This charming mansion was the office of Pierce Leslie& Co. ,coffee merchants founded in 1862.This building reflects Portuguese , Dutch and local influences. Waterfront verandahs are added attraction.
 
Koder House
This building constructed by Samuel S.Koder of the Cochin Electric Company in 1808 is a supreme example of the transition from colonial to Indo-European architecture. Features like verandahs seats at the entrance, floor tiles set in a chess board pattern, red colored brick –like facade, carved wood furniture and a wooden bridge connecting to a separate structure across the street are all unique to this bungalow.
 
Santa Cruz Basilica
 
The Santa Cruz Cathedral not only happens to be one of the oldest churches in Cochin, but also in the whole of India. Counted as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala. It was built by the first Portuguese viceroy, Francesco de Almeida, when he arrived in Kochi way back in 1505 and elevated to a Cathedral by pope Paul IV in 1558. On 3 May that year, during the feast of the "Invention of the Holy Cross", the foundation stone of this church was laid and upon completion, it was christened as Santa Cruz Cathedral. The church was proclaimed a basilica in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.
 
Vasco House
 
Believed to have been the residence of Vasco da Gama, this is one of the oldest Portuguese residences in Fort Kochi.Built in the early sixteenth century; Vasco house sports the typical European glass –paned windows and balcony –cum-verandahs characteristic of the times.
 
Parade Ground
 
The Portuguese, the Dutch and the British colonists conducted their military parades and drills. Today the largest open ground in Fort Kochi, the parade ground is a sports arena.
 
The Dutch Cemetery
 
The tombstones here are the most authentic record of the hundreds of Europeans who left their homeland on a mission to expand their colonial empires and changed the course of history of this land.The cemetery was consecrated 1n 1724 and is today managed by the Church of South India.
 
Thakur House
 
The bungalow was built on the site of the Gelderland Bastion, one of the seven bastions of the Old Dutch Fort.Eaelier known as Kunal or Hill Bunglow, it was the home to the managers of the National bank of India during the British reign. Today, the bungalow belongs to Ram Bahadur Thakur and Company, the renowned tea trading firm.
 
David Hall
 
Built around 1695 by the Dutch East India Company. David hall gets its name from one of its later occupants, David Koder, a Jewish business man. The hall was originally associated with Hendrik Adriaan Van Reed Tot Drakestein, renowned Dutch commander better known for Hortus Malabaricus, a pioneering compilation of the flora of the Malabar Coast.
 
The Cochin Club
The club, with its impressive library and collection of sporting trophies, is housed in a beautifully land scaped park. In the early 1900’s, when the club had just become operational, admission was restricted to the British and to men only.Today, though the club retains its traditional English ambience, its rules are more liberal and the membership of 250 includes women as well.
 
St.Francis Church
 
Open 0600 -1900 hrs, only on weekends. Mass timing: 0600 and 0715 hrs.
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars, this is India’s oldest European Church. This was initially built of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry. It was restored in 1779 by the Protestant Dutch; coverted to an Anglican church by the British 1795and is at present governed by the Church of South India.
Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524 before his remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal .The tombstone still remains.
 
Bastion Bungalow
 
Built in the Indo-European style way back in 1667, the bungalow gets its name from its location on the site of the Stromberg Bastion of the Old Dutch Fort. The building blends beautifully in to the circular structure of the bastion, has a tiled roof and a typical first floor verandah in wood along its front portion. Though it has been said that a network of secret tunnels runs beneath the bunglow, none have been found. Today the bungalow is the official residence of the Sub Collector.

 
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