Sunday, May 20, 2018

Email
 
 

 
Kerala
Land
People
Festivals
History
Economy
Tourism
Craft
Arts
Government

Cuisine

 Photo Gallery
 Yellowpages
 Real Estate
 Events
 Classifieds
 Jobs
 Education

Arts and Architecture


Churches

 
Tradition has it that Apostle St.Thomas who is said to have landed at Muziris in AD 52, built seven churches in Kerala. The first wave of Christianity to Kerala must have come from West Asia. Inscriptions for instance of the times of Sthanu Ravi (844-85) and Vira Raghava Chakravarti (AD1225) clearly reveal the Christian communities enjoyed many rights and privileges.

It is widely known that early churches in the Roman world, including West Asia, initiated the plan of Civil Basilica having a semi circular termination, and with certain modifications for better fulfillment of liturgical needs. On the other hand, Kerala adopted a temple plan comprising a four-sided sanctuary fronted by a larger pillared hall, which in the Christian tradition became chancel and nave respectively. Similarly the tower over the sanctuary possibly soared higher than of the nave as in the Hindu temple, the Sikhara above the garbha-griha has the maximum height. This type of church-architecture can still be seen in Kerala.

In the Orthodox Syrian Church at Chengannur, Peter and Paul occupy the places of the dwarapalas of the Hindu shrine. A portico, called sala in front is often provided to shelter pilgrims during festive occasion. The absence of benches or pews reflects a sense of adjustment to the prevailing Indian custom of squatting or kneeling on the floor. Again, many Syrian churches have an impressive gate way with a musical hall above, which may be an adoption from the Brahmanical practices in temples. The open air cross in front of the main entrance recalls the tradition of placing balipitha or dipa-stamba, near the entrance of the Hindu shrine. Church architecture in Kerala evolved out of an indigenous building tradition  and basically the same trend continued till recently despite the impact of later ecclesiastical architecture of Europe.

It was Portuguese who introduced the new trend of Church-architecture in the sixteenth century; followed by the latinization of churches in Kerala. Santo Antonio, now St. Francis at Cochin is the earliest church built in India in the new tradition. It has been raised on a plan similar to the earlier types prevalent in Kerala though in elevation it has discarded the idea of dominating tower over the chancel. Being a modest unpretentious structure, it has no particular architectural merit, but it stands as a land mark of history and church architecture of India. Numerous churches has been built on the Indian soil keeping the St. Francis church as the model.

The exact date of the construction of the St. Francis church is not known. Presumably it owes its origin to the Franciscan Friars who accompanied the Portuguese expedition under Pedro Alvarez Gabral. Originally it is said to have been built of wood but later rebuilt in stone perhaps within the first few years of the sixteenth century.  It is a lofty edifice with a gabled timber-framed roof covered with tiles. Facing the west, it has a semi-circular arched entrance and windows  above. The facade is impressive, flanked on either side by a stepped pinnacle. There is a bell-turret on the summit of the gable-front, divided into three compartments. Inside the chancel is divided from the nave by a plain arched opening and the top of the chancel roof is crowned by two stepped pinnacles. It exhibits an architecture of arch.

This is the church where Vasco-da Gama was buried in 1524, though his body was removed in 1538 to Portugal. In 1663 it is passed on to the hands of the Dutch, who were protestants, it was restored by the Dutch in 1779. After the occupation of Cochin by the British in 1795, it gradually became an Anglican Church. At present it has been taken over by the Church of South India.

Some of the heraldic designs an armorial bearings on the tomb-stones, affixed on the walls of this church are examples of fine workmanship. The earliest Portuguese epitaph here dates back to1562, while that of Dutch to 1664.

Interior of many Churches of Kerala shows fine wood-works and also paintings devoted mainly to the life story of Jesus Christ. The murals depicting the fight between the English and Tipu Sultan are seen in a Church at Kanjhur.

 


QUICK LINKS - WEBINDIA123.COM
CAREER OPTIONS
DATES AND EVENTS
INSTITUTES IN INDIA
STUDY ABROAD
UK, USA, Canada
CLASSIFIEDS
JOBS
MATRIMONIAL
ASTROLOGY
GORGEOUS CELEBRITIES
VIDEOS
E-CARDS
BEAUTY AND STYLE
HEALTH
COMMUNITY
FOOD
YOGA
CRAFTS
GARDENING
PHOTOS
Shopping
DEALS AND DISCOUNTS
YELLOW PAGES
TOUR PACKAGES
POCKET DICTIONARY
EVENTS
NEWS
WORLD TIME
DONATE BLOOD
AUTOMOBILE
CITY GUIDE
DANCE
FESTIVAL
FINANCE

GOVERNMENT

HISTORY
INDIAN CRAFTS
INDIA FACTS
law
MEDICINE
MUSIC
NRI
PERSONALITIES
RELIGION
SPICES
SPORTS
TOURISM
WILDLIFE
WOMEN
Kochi Biennale 2014
Andaman and Nicobar
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Jammu and Kashmir
Manipur
Rajasthan
Andhra Pradesh
Daman and Diu
Jharkhand
Meghalaya
Sikkim
Arunachal Pradesh
Delhi
Karnataka
Mizoram
Tamil Nadu
Telangana
Assam
Goa
Kerala
Nagaland
Tripura
Bihar
Gujarat
Lakshadweep
Orissa
Uttar Pradesh
Chandigarh
Haryana
Madhya Pradesh
Pondicherry
Uttaranchal
Chhattisgarh
Himachal Pradesh
Maharashtra
Punjab
West Bengal

Copyright 2000- Suni Systems (P) Ltd.
All rights reserved