Portuguese Church In Santhome Madras, 1900 Postcard

Portuguese Church In Santhome Madras, 1900 Postcard

A 1900 oilette postcard of the Portuguese church of Santhome in Madras, now Chennai. Many assume that the British were the first to establish a colony in Madras. But that was not the case, the Portuguese were the first to arrive. They opened a settlement in the coastal village of Mylapore at the present-day Santhome.

San Thome or Santhome is derived from the name St Thomas the Apostle. The Portuguese from Goa, in 1522 following the trail of St Thomas discovered his tomb in Mylapore in an almost neglected state. Thus a settlement was established with a protective fort and enshrined the tomb of St Thomas. Later building a church over the tomb.

First, the Dutch took control of Santhome by driving out the Portuguese in the 1600s. The British in later years drove out the Dutch from Santhome. Bringing the whole of Madras under their ambit. The church was enlarged in 1606, and later it was rebuilt by the British as a cathedral in 1896. Today this originally Portuguese Church of Santhome looks almost the same as pictured.

Did you know – the fort at Santhome was destroyed by the Dutch and later the British. The remnants carted away by the locals thus leaving no vestiges of the fort today. 

From the collection – Raja Ravi Varma Commemorative Stamp Folder., Victoria Grand Display To Isolation Bombay-Old Photo., In Honor of Queen Victoria Bombay, Old Print 1887., Suratta or Surat – Antique Map / Plan 1720