Europeans and Chinese gave the unique city of Kochi its distinctive cityscape: Entire districts, but especially Mattancherry, give off a Mediterranean and Indo-Portuguese flair. The water-rich city with its natural harbour is a source of cultural and historical excursions - on land and on water.
From Catholic churches to synagogues and handcrafted masterpieces like Chinese fishing nets, Kochi tells a different story at every turn. For example, that of Vasco da Gama, who was buried in Kochi. Just find out for yourself why Kochi is also called the "Queen of the Arabian Sea". Less
The first European church in India
A very special experience
Don't be confused: Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese building that passed as a gift to the King of Kochin in 1555. It is now called the Dutch Palace. Dutchmen renovated it during the occupation and gave it this name. Take time to visit it on your Kochi vacation. The beautiful and intricate frescoes of Karala deserve your full attention to marvel at every detail. Early in the morning, enjoy the tranquility of the palace.
In the 13th century, Chinese merchants introduced the imposing and difficult to operate Chinese fishing nets on the rivers of Kochi. It takes at least four strong fishermen to fish with the heavy nets on the wooden poles. An absolute spectacle if you are exploring Kochi by boat or on foot. The best moment to watch the fishermen is at high tide. Also enjoy the romantic sunsets on the shores.
Apart from its religious and spiritual significance, the Franciscan Church in Kochi is mostly appreciated for its rich history: it is the first European church in India and the burial place of the legendary Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama. The church interior is modest. The former Catholic pomp has disappeared. Especially great are the unique stained glass windows that break the light excitingly. Commemorative and information boards in English, Dutch and Portuguese bear witness to the turbulent past.
It is the oldest synagogue in the British Commonwealth: The Paradesi Synagogue is located in the old Jewish quarter of Kochi. If it looks inconspicuous from the outside, it unfolds its splendour inside: chandeliers made of Belgian glass, golden crowns as well as oriental carpets and hand-painted Chinese porcelain tiles from the 18th century decorate the synagogue. Since it is quite manageable and the entrance fee is very affordable, the Paradesi Synagogue is the perfect stop on your Kochi vacation. Less
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