Indo-Portuguese Museum, Bishop's House and Vasco's House, Ft. Kochi

Bishop's House and Museum Kochi. YouTub
Bishop's House. Kochi. /
 Above image :Image of Pope Benedict XVI at the Bishop's House just outside the Indo-Portuguese Museum, Ft. Kochi, Kerala, India................

Built atop a small hill close to the Parade ground, Kochi this grand Portuguese building with a large driveway was built in 1506 for the resident Portuguese Governor. Now, It houses the Bishop of Kochi and adjacent to the Bishop's House is the  Indo- Portuguese Museum and it an extension  built over the remnants of the old Fort Kochi.

The Indo-Portuguese Museum situated in Fort Kochi takes us back to the Portuguese colonial time and their impact in this region in terms of architecture art and culture.  The artifacts, etc on display here give you a glimpse into the Portuguese Colonial history here. The credit goes to the  late Dr. Joseph Kureethra, Bishop of Kochi, who put in sincere efforts to found this museum so that it will be beneficial to the posterity.  His main intention was to  protect and showcase the rich cultural heritage and Portuguese influence. It is to be noted that it was the  Portuguese Era that  established the very first major European  link with the Indian subcontinent that too on the coastal Malabar and later in Goa. The Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage has a long history and is well preserved here.

This heritage Museum has five sections  all related to Christianity as adopted by the Portuguese Catholic Christians - Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral.  A piece of  16th century Altar made of teak wood  from the Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen, a chasuble (19th century) from Bishop's House, Fort Kochi, a  17th century processional Cross made of silver and wood  from Santa Cruz Cathedral, Fort Kochi, Indo-Portuguese Monstrance (18-19th century), from the Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen. 

Kochi, Indo-Portuguese museum. YouTube
Above image: Indo-Portuguese Museum, Ft. Kochi, 17th century processional Cross from the Portuguese Church............................. 

The sculptures, precious metal objects and vestments from, the Cathedral of Santa Cruz and other churches of the Kochi diocese are all on display and they are grand in style.  They were donated by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Most of them are religious in nature, apparently salvaged from the old Portuguese churches. Of particular interest is the old locks native to  Kerala, called the ‘Manichitrathazhu’. They were, it is believed,
old Door lock native to Kerala.
found on  the old doors of the mansions. They have symbols of all religions engraved on them! When you visit the museum.
Visiting Hours: 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Closed on Mondays and all Public Holidays.

 01. During the Portuguese period, Ft. Kochi was called  Ft. Emmanuel  Except some remnants, the fort is almost damaged because of many battles and raids.

02. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal  is a Portuguese institution under private law and of general public utility, perpetual in nature, with its statutory purposes spanning the Arts, Beneficence, Science and Education. Set up by the last will and testament of Calouste Sarkis

 Gulbenkian, who bequeathed his assets to the country in the form of a foundation with its statutes approved by the Portuguese state on 18 July 1956. Their operation is worldwide. Contribution is by way of investments and donations. (vide: https://en. Calouste Gulbenkian_Foundation.

Vasco House in Ft. Kochi (a brief note):

It is  believed to be the residence of Vasco Da Gama who first discovered the sea route from Europe to India in May 1498 and it is also considered to be  one of the oldest  Portuguese
Vasco house, Kochi.
styled houses in India. Vasco House, as it is called, is a major tourist attraction in Kochi and is  very close to St Francis Church.  Built in the early 16th century,  it has European styled glass windows, balcony and veranda, besides high ceiling quite typical of that time.  It is made of laterite and granite stones using lime-sand mix for plastering work. It was built in such a way as to reduce radiation inside during the hot summer period.