/ Santhome Cathedral Basilica

Santhome Cathedral Basilica

By Alan J Bright
March 22, 2023


Santhome Cathedral Basilica, also known as St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, is a famous church located in Chennai, India. The church is dedicated to St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, who is believed to have visited India in the 1st century AD. The church is not only a significant religious site for Christians but also a historical landmark that has stood the test of time.

History of Santhome Cathedral Basilica

Santhome Cathedral Basilica has a rich history that dates back to the 16th century. According to legend, St. Thomas arrived in India in 52 AD and started preaching Christianity in the region. He was martyred in Chennai, where the church now stands, in 72 AD. In the 16th century, the Portuguese arrived in India and built a church on the site of St. Thomas's tomb. Over time, the church underwent several renovations and reconstructions to its current form.

Architecture of Santhome Cathedral Basilica

The church's architecture is a blend of several styles, including Gothic, Roman, and Portuguese. The church has a beautiful white façade with twin spires and stained-glass windows. The interior is equally breathtaking, with a high altar made of black marble and a wooden statue of St. Thomas. The church also has several chapels dedicated to different saints and a museum showcasing religious artifacts.

Significance of Santhome Cathedral Basilica

Santhome Cathedral Basilica is not only a significant religious site but also a symbol of religious harmony in India. The church attracts devotees from all over the world and is a popular pilgrimage site for Christians. The church also has historical significance, as it is believed to be the burial site of St. Thomas, making it a significant archaeological site.

Services and Events at Santhome Cathedral Basilica

The church conducts daily masses in English, Tamil, and Latin, attracting both locals and tourists. The church also hosts several events throughout the year, such as the Feast of St. Thomas, which is celebrated every year on July 3rd, attracting thousands of devotees from all over the world.

Santhome Cathedral Basilica Today

Santhome Cathedral Basilica has stood the test of time and has been an integral part of Chennai's history and culture. The church attracts not only devotees but also tourists interested in exploring the city's rich history and heritage.


Santhome Cathedral Basilica is a historical and spiritual icon that has stood the test of time. The church's rich history, beautiful architecture, and religious significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring Chennai's cultural heritage. The church's peaceful and serene atmosphere also makes it an ideal place for meditation and reflection, making it an important site for people of all faiths.


1. Is Santhome Cathedral Basilica open to visitors?

Yes, the church is open to visitors throughout the year.

2. What are the timings of the daily masses at Santhome Cathedral Basilica?

The church conducts daily masses in English, Tamil, and Latin. The timings vary depending on the language of the mass.

3. Can non-Christians visit Santhome Cathedral Basilica?

Yes, the church welcomes visitors of all faiths.

4. Is photography allowed inside Santhome Cathedral Basilica?

Yes, photography is allowed inside the church, but visitors are requested to maintain decorum.

5.Are there any entry fees for visiting Santhome Cathedral Basilica?

No, there are no entry fees for visiting the church.

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