St. Francis Church Kochi - Gravestone of Vasco da Gama

Portugal, Lisbon:Tomb of Vasco da Gama, the monastery church Santa Maria

Kochi, St. Francis church Original grave of Vasco da

St. Francis Church, Kochi Gama was buried here.

St. Francis Church (owned by the Church of South India) in the old part of Kochi - Ft. Kochi Fort Kochi (aka. Fort Cochin), originally built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India. and has great historical significance. 

Portugal Lisbon Belém Mosteiro dos Jeronimos monastery church interior tomb of Vasco da Gama ·

St. Francis church History. credit:
The explorer from  Portugal Vasco de Gama who first discovered the alternate first sea route to India from the Europe  was buried here. First built in 1503 in the fort area close to the sea. the church was under the control of  the Dutch - 1664 to 1804  and the English (East India company) from 1804 to 1947 after the Portuguese in1663. under the British, After 1947 it came under the  authority and control of the Church of South India However, being a protected monuments, certain powers are vested with the ASI - Archaeological Survey of India (Govt. of India)

St. Francis Church, Kochi

This old church was a silent witness to several important events involving cutthroat competitions and struggles in mercantile trade among the European countries to control over the Indian subcontinent and to establish their hegemony during the colonial period.  The Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama,  landedon  May, 1498 and who first landed near Calicut (now Kozhicode) on the Malabar coast of western India  and  died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body  was originally buried in this church, but  after 14 years his mortal remains were taken to Lisbon for burial for unknown reasons.  was but after fourteen years, for unknown reasons. The assumption is  if other colonial power  took control of the church, they might  disturb his grave or would pay less attention to his burial site. In the capital city of Lisbon Gama was given  reverential burial

St. Francis Church,
Pedro Álvares Cabral and Alfonso de Albuquerque,  who later visited Kochi after De Gama, built a fort  here with permission from the Raja of Cochin. Within the fort prescient, they built a church with a wooden structure, which was dedicated to St. Bartholomew. The neighborhood is now known as Fort Kochi. It was in 1506,  the Raja of Cochin  allowed  Francisco de Almeida, the Portuguese viceroy, to rebuild  wooden buildings in stone and masonry with a tiled roof.
Portugal, Lisbon: Tomb of Vasco da Gama inside of the monastery church Santa Maria .
and  in 1516,  the new  church was dedicated  to  St. Anthony.  When the Dutch in 1663 captured this area, being protestants, they demolished all the Portuguese churches except this one. When the British took the reign in 1794, they, however allowed the Dutch to retain it. In 1804 it changed hands to Anglican Communion.  Under the Ecclesiastical Department of the Government of India the Anglican Communion changed the name of the patron saint to St. Francis.

The gravestones of other Portuguese and the Dutch are on the southern wall. A cenotaph in memory of the residents of Kochi who died in the World War I was erected in 1920.