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San Thome Cathedral

San Thome Cathedral of Chennai is one of the most popular and historical churches in India. The popularity of the church is also because of the fact that it is one among the three churches in the world that were built on the tomb of apostles. Experience the outstanding neo-Gothic architecture of the church whilst you wander the streets of a Portuguese-influenced neighborhood.

Founded by the Portuguese in 1523, this Roman Catholic cathedral was rebuilt by the British in neo-gothic style in the year 1896. This is said to be the final resting place of St Thomas the Apostle. As per popular beliefs, St Thomas brought Christianity to the subcontinent in AD 52 and was killed at St Thomas Mount in AD 72. Behind the cathedral is the tomb of St Thomas. Although most of St Thomas' mortal remains now apparently lie in Italy, a cross on the tomb wall contains a tiny bone fragment marked 'Relic of St Thomas'.

The San Thome Cathedral church can be described as majestic, historic and tranquil. Its European inspired architecture attracts tourists from all over the country. The beautiful whitewashed façade of the church, the characterized pointed spires, pinnacles and arched windows, all add up to form the beautiful structure of the church. Walk around the outside of the cathedral and note the impressive two-level Gothic colonnades. Once you step inside, you witness a peaceful nave framed by large archways. Check out the colorful stained-glass windows, one of which depicts a meeting between St. Thomas and Christ. The statue of Our Lady of Mylapore should not be missed.

Other Details
The church complex houses a church, a chapel, the apostle’s tomb and a museum.
The museum inside the complex has several artifacts related to the apostle and the era. The inscriptions engraved on the stone talk about the good deeds of the saint. The spear that killed him is also kept for display.
A mini theatre here takes you through the life of St. Thomas.

Visiting hours
Open on all days, the entry to the Cathedral is free. A mass service in English takes place daily inside the church.

How to reach
The cathedral is in the Santhome district of the Mylapore neighborhood. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Chennai’s city center. Getting here is easy via auto-rickshaws, taxis and trains. Thirumayilai MRTS Station is a 20-minute walk away.

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