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San Thome Cathedral

San Thome Cathedral

Held in high esteem by the Catholic Christians, San Thome Cathedral is an important attraction of  Chennai. Attracting tourists from far and wide, the church was originally built by the Portuguese Voyagers in the 16th century. It was dedicated to St. Thomas, the apostle of Christ, who lived in Madras and also died here. The church was constructed at the place where the saint was buried. The hand bone of the saint has been preserved in the church. Later in 1606, the church was rebuilt as a cathedral and was made a basilica in the year 1896.

The word basilica means a royal house or palace. The church is famous for its amazing stained glass windows depicting the story of St. Thomas. The central hall of the church has 14 wooden plaques, which are the reminders of the the last days of Jesus Christ. Another attraction inside the church is the 3 ft. high statue of Virgin Mary. It is believed that it was imported from Portugal in 1543.

The title of an 'International Shrine' was conferred on San Thome Cathedral on 11th February in 2006 by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India. The church is easily accessible from all the parts of the city.

 

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