St. Francis Church is located on Beach road near Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Kochi area of Kerala. Nearby the Dutch cemetery is located. It is the oldest European church in India built by the Portuguese in 1503. Vasco da Gama who discovered the sea route to India, died in Kochi (Cochin) in 1524. He was buried at St. Francis Church and later his remains were taken to Lisbon, Portugal. This is the only church which was not hurt during the various European power’s struggle for dominance in kochi.
The church has a long and interesting history. It was declared a protected monument in April 1923 under the Protected Monuments Act of 1904. Now it is protected monument under the Archeological Survey of India. A tomb of Vasco da Gama can be seen on the right hand side of the wall inside the church hall. A cenotaph was constructed in 1920 for those people of Kochi who fought in the World War I.