Friday, March 26, 2010

Portuguese Starts the colonial history in india

On 1500 December 24 the first Portuguese fleet had come to Cochin.

The admiral of this fleet was Pedro Alvares Cabral (the discoverer of Brasil).
The king of Cochin allowed place for establishing the business and a "feitoria" (factory) .In 1502 a new expedition under the command of Vasco da Gama arrived at Cochin, and the friendship with the Rajah of Cochin was renewed.
After the departure of Vasco da Gama, the Zamorin of Calicut, enemy of the Portuguese, attacked Cochin and destroyed the Portuguese "feitoria". The Rajah of Cochin and his Portuguese allies were forced to withdraw to the island of Vypin. Here, they were reinforced by three ships under Francisco de Albuquerque’s leadership and, some days later by Duarte Pacheco Pereira (the author of "Esmeraldo de situ orbis") the Calicut troops immediately abandoned the siege.

In 27 September of 1503 the foundations of a timber fortress were laid. This was the first fortress erected by the Portuguese in India. At the departure of the Portuguese fleet to Portugal, Duarte Pacheco Pereira with three ships and 100 men were left in Cochin for assistance to the Rajah. Meanwhile, the Zamorin of Calicut formed a force of 50.000 men and 280 ships to drive the Portuguese out of Cochin. Duarte Pacheco Pereira was in command of only 100 Portuguese, 300 Malabar troops and about 5.000 soldiers of the King of Cochin. Pereira was a formidable commander. For five months, he and his men were able to sustain and drive back all the Zamorin’s assaults. He saved Portugal from being driven out of India. After this victory, Pereira returned to Portugal, and the King paid him the highest honours.

In 1505, a stone fortress replaced the wooden fortress of Cochin. The first church of Cochin was that of St.Bartolomeu built in 1504. In 1506, the construction of Santa Cruz church (which gave its name to the Portuguese town) was initiated.

A parish church called Madre de Deus was laid in 1510. In 1550, the Jesuits added a large three storied college to the church.
For a better defence of the town, a fort called "Castelo de Cima" was built on Vypeen island at Paliport.

In 1510, Afonso de Albuquerque started a school (a Portuguese "casado" Afonso Alvares was the teacher) but after his death it closed down. However, the Franciscans started a new school in 1520. They built a friary (Santo Antonio) (1518-1520), a seminary and the beautiful church dedicated to St.Francisco de Assis (1516-1522). Vasco da Gama was originally buried in it on Christmas eve of 1524. The floor of this church was paved with tombstones, which, in 1887, were removed and fixed its walls, where there are still today. This church is a living historical monument of today’s Cochin

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