Mattancherry is drawn from “Ancherry Mattam”, a Namboodiri illam which then the foreign traders pronounced it as Matt-Ancherry, gradually became Mattancherry..It is a tourist destination. It is surrounded by the backwaters of Arabian Sea.Mattancherry was the first trade hub of the present district.Mattancherry is populated by people from various walks of life and various parts of India & Abroad. There are people who have come and settled in Mattancherry from Goa, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and so on.Main Trade was on spices such as pepper and turmeric. Tea is also traded.Mattancherry is famous for having “Jew Town” in its heart.
Kochi is the oldest existing synagogue. The prosperous Jewish trading community built it in 1568 AD. It was partially destroyed in the 1962 war. Later it was rebuilt by the Dutch. This speaks for the historical importance of the monument. The synagogue still has rolls of Old Testament, old copper plates that have souvenirs and records of the privileges bestowed upon the Rajahs of Kochi. These souvenirs also include beautifully carved silver and golden crowns. The Jewish Synagogue, Kochi is one of the exemplary sightseeing spots in Kerala. For public viewing, the synagogue remains open from 10 am to 12 noon and again from 3 pm to 5 pm every day except Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
The Jew Street is lined with shops that sell curios, antique pieces of crockery, carved wooden furniture, bronze and brass sculptures, remnants of traditional houses, and jewellery. The antique sellers of these streets are the descendants of a fast dwindling population of Jews who settled down here in AD 52. Every piece that they sell has its own tale to narrate – of a palace or a home of the nobility, of travels across many lands and ages.
Dutch palace is built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the Palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. The palace with a Bhagavathi Temple in the central courtyard is built like the typical Kerala style mansion – the Nalukettu – the home of the aristocracy, nobility and upper classes, with four separate wings opening out to a central courtyard.
Believed to have been the residence of Vasco da Gama, Vasco House is one of the oldest Portuguese residences in Fort Kochi. Built in the early sixteenth century, Vasco House sports the typical European glass paned windows and balcony cum verandahs characteristic of those times.
Santa Cruz Basilica
The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica in Fort Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in India. This heritage edifice of Kerala is also one of the finest and imposing churches in India. Located close to the renowned St. Francis Church, this basilica serves as the cathedral church of the Diocese of Cochin, the second oldest Diocese of India. The construction works started when the first Portuguese Viceroy Dom Francisco de Almeida got permission from the Cochin Raja to build a church.
Kochi, with its exotic beauty and extraordinary charm, is one of the outstanding tourist destinations in the world. Apart from being the commercial hub of Kerala, Kochi, by means of its fine-looking backwaters, monuments and unique heritage, fascinates travellers around the globe. Shut from the hubbubs of this city is the attractive Bolgatty Island well-known for its Dutch Palace named Bolgatty Palace. Bolgatty Palace is now a heritage hotel with all luxuries under the control of KTDC.
The Hill Palace, Kerala’s first heritage museum noted for royal collections of the erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi, is today the largest archaeological museum in Kerala,built in 1865.hill palace exhibited are over 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China, Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), menhirs, granite, laterite memorials, rock-cut weapons from the Stone Age, wooden temple models, plaster cast models of objects from Mohenjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art.
By Air : Nearest airport is Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery, 40 km from Fort Kochin
By rail: Ernakulam Junction (15 Kms), Ernakulam Town (17 Kms) are the nearest railway stations
By Road: Fort Kochin is well connected by roads from all part of city.
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