The Indo-Portuguese Museum located in Fort Kochi throws light on the strong Portuguese influence in both the art and the architecture of the region.
The museum today is an important center to understand the Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage, which is still surviving. The museum is the outcome of the untiring efforts of the late Dr. Joseph Kureethra, Bishop of Kochi. Driven by sheer commitment to protect the rich heritage of his Diocese, the bishop established the Indo-Portuguese Museum to preserve some of the invaluable collections for posterity.
The museum is divided into five main sections, according to the nature of items displayed in each section. They are viz. Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral.
The museum currently houses some outstanding collections, well known for its artistic and architectural marvel, 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 Bishops 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 Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen. Among the displayed items, the Coat of Arms of the Franciscans needs special mentioning.
The Indo-Portuguese Museum in Kochi is indeed one of those symbols in the annals of Kochi, bearing the rich heritage of Indo-Portuguese culture and artistic influence.
Another section of the museum presents interesting aspects of shipbuilding activities in India. It unravels India's prowess in shipbuilding, which took its culture to the shores of Java, Sumatra and Bali between 3rd century BC and 12th century AD.
The museum also has a section, which highlights Indian Navy's share of glory, when it took on its aggressors and eventually emerged victorious in the end.
These include details of Junaghad operation, the Goa liberation, Indo-Pak conflicts of 1965 and 1971, Operation Cactus, Operation Pawan and the strategic maneuvers during Kargil.
9:30 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm
The Museum is located on the beach road about 1 km south of St.Francis Church in Fort Kochi.
Air : Cochin International Airport, about 20 km from Ernakulam City.
Rail : Ernakulam, about 15km.