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The Indo-Portuguese Museum
This important centre for understanding the Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage, which is still surviving, houses some honorable collections and is well known for its artistic and architectural marvels, which bear the mark of strong Portuguese influence. Some of these include a piece of the altar made in teak wood (16th century) from the Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen, a chasuble (19th century) from Bishop's House, Fort Kochi, Processional cross, which is a combination of silver and wood (17th century) from Santa Cruz Cathedral, Fort Kochi, Indo-Portuguese Monstrance (18-19th century), from The Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen. Among the displayed items, the Coat of Arms of the Franciscans needs special mention
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has also contributed to the rich collection at this museum and these include sculptures, precious metal objects and vestments, among others from the Cathedral of Santa Cruz and other churches of the Kochi diocese.
This museum opened in 2000 and is dedicated to Dr Joseph Kureethara, Bishop of Cochin from 1075-1999, who paid a big part in its conception. It's housed in the Bishop's House and exhibits a large range of Portuguese religious artefacts in five sections – Altar, Procession, Treasure, Civil Life and Cathedral. Collections include a 16th century altar made from teak wood, a 19th century chasuble, processional cross and the Coat of Arms of the Franciscans.
Open: 9am-6pm (closed Mondays). Admission: Rs25.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
The Indo Portuguese Museum
is really a misnomer in that this is a religous museum, mainly the Catholic variety which is common in Kerala. Painstakingly gathered and curated by my friend Densal on behalf of the Bishop of cochin, one sees various artifacts of church architecture of kerala and also a bit of history of christianity, one of the oldest branches of that religion in the world.
It is housed in the compound of the Bishops Residence right in the heart of Fort Cochin and is well worth a visit.
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