(Last Updated on : 05-12-2011)
The Indo-Portuguese Museum is one of the popular museums of Kerala
. The museum is located in Fort Kochi
. The museum highlights about the strong influence of the Portuguese rulers in both the art and the architecture of Kerala and particularly Kochi. The Indo Portuguese Museum holds a significant place in the history of Kochi as it was the first museum in Kerala that stored priceless artefacts and scriptures of theological importance.
The Indo-Portuguese Museum helps in understanding the Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage, which still exists. By visiting the museum one gets to know about the influence of the Portuguese rulers. Even the buildings and monuments of this region bear evidences of their impact. The Indo-Portuguese Museum is the outcome of the untiring hard work of late Dr. Joseph Kureethra who served as the Bishop of Kochi. He has set up this museum in order to safe guard the rich heritage of his Diocese. The museum preserves some of the invaluable collections for posterity.
Indo-Portuguese Museum has been divided into five main sections. These sections have been made according to the type of items it displays. The five main sections are Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral. All the antiquities that are displayed here give a picture of the culture of the Portuguese rulers and the influence they exercised here. The museum exhibits some outstanding collections and is well known for its artistic and architectural marvels. Some of these invaluable collections 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 Bishop's 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 The Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen. Among the displayed items, the Coat of Arms of the Franciscans needs special mention.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has also made a significant contribution to the rich collection at the Indo-Portuguese Museum. These include sculptures, precious metal objects and vestments, among others from the Cathedral of Santa Cruz and other churches of the Kochi diocese.
The Indo-Portuguese Museum thus serves as an important centre to gain information about the Indo-Portuguese Artistic and cultural legacy. The museum is accessible through rail, road and air. The nearest bus station is the Fort Kochi Bus terminal. The Ernakulam railway station is at a distance of 6 kms and Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport here.