One of the eight basilicas in Kerala, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is a must-visit monument for visitors to Fort Kochi. It has a rich Portuguese heritage and the frescoes and murals speak about the long-standing influence. After the Portuguese explorers arrived in 1500 and settled in the state, King Godha Varma I received them and gave them space to build a fort and within no time, a church also came up. It was raised to a cathedral in 1558. The building and its premises have been destroyed and restored several times during the Dutch and British rules that followed. It was even used as a warehouse to store arms and ammunition. It was in 1984 that the cathedral was proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul II.