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San Thome Cathedral

Admire stunning neo-Gothic architecture, discover artifacts relating to the apostle St. Thomas and wander the streets of a Portuguese-influenced neighborhood.

San Thome Cathedral is majestic, historic and tranquil, a place to marvel at European-inspired architecture and discover the life of a martyred disciple. Portuguese pioneers established the cathedral during the 16th century. In the 1890s British colonists redeveloped the cathedral using the neo-Gothic designs favored by 19th-century architects from Great Britain. Visit this cathedral which commemorates St. Thomas, who was one of Jesus’ 12 apostles.

Marvel at the cathedral’s photogenic whitewashed façade, characterized by pointed spires, pinnacles and arched windows. Gaze up at the 183-foot-tall (56-meter) main spire, added by the British in 1894. Walk around the outside of the cathedral and note the impressive two-level Gothic colonnades.

Step inside to see a peaceful nave framed by large archways. Look for the crypt of St. Thomas, which contains bone fragments of the apostle’s body. St. Thomas is said to have introduced Christianity to India and received martyrdom at nearby St. Thomas Mount in the 1st century A.D. Check out the colorful stained-glass windows, one of which depicts a meeting between St. Thomas and Christ. Don’t miss the statue of Our Lady of Mylapore.

Go to the cathedral’s small museum to learn more about the life of St. Thomas. A major highlight is a spearhead that allegedly killed him. Investigate the displays of inscribed stones and postage stamps released in his honor.

The cathedral is in the Santhome district of the Mylapore neighborhood. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Chennai’s city center. Getting here is easy via auto-rickshaws, taxis and trains. Thirumayilai MRTS Station is a 20-minute walk away. While here, explore Santhome, a district established by the Portuguese and set on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. Also nearby is Kapalishvara Temple, a magnificent example of Dravidian architecture.

San Thome Cathedral is open daily and admission is free. A mass service in English takes place on a daily basis. Find full details on the cathedral’s official website. This is an active place of worship so dress appropriately when visiting.


Guide to Exploring San Thome Cathedral


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Top San Thome Cathedral Hotel & Accommodation Deals

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The Leela Palace Chennai AU$167
The Leela Palace Chennai

The Leela Palace Chennai

175 Sathya Dev Avenue Extn, MRC Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Chennai hotel is located by the sea, within 3 mi (5 km) of Kapaleeswarar Temple and Marina Beach. Phoenix Market City and Chennai Trade Centre are also within 9 mi (15 km). Chennai Mandavelli Station is 29 minutes by foot.

    Hotel Savera AU$83
    Hotel Savera

    Hotel Savera

    No.146, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Mylapore, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Music Academy, Consulate General of the United States, Chennai and Chennai Citi Center Mall. Marina Beach and Kapaleeswarar Temple are also within 2 miles (3 km). Chennai Thirumayilai Station is 21 minutes by foot and Chennai Light House Station is 23 minutes.

      FabHotel Santhome Inn
      FabHotel Santhome Inn

      FabHotel Santhome Inn

      No.157, Santhome High Road, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Mylapore, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Thome Cathedral and Marina Beach. Chennai Citi Center Mall and Kapaleeswarar Temple are also within 15 minutes. Chennai Light House Station is 16 minutes by foot and Chennai Thirumayilai Station is 17 minutes.

        OYO 16117 Grace Residency AU$103
        OYO 16117 Grace Residency

        OYO 16117 Grace Residency

        8, 9, 22, 23, Pattanur Vill, Vanur Taluk, Thiruchitrambalam Panchayat Union, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Mylapore Tiruvallikk, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Thome Cathedral and Marina Beach. Chennai Citi Center Mall and Kapaleeswarar Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Chennai Light House Station is 16 minutes by foot and Chennai Thirumayilai Station is 18 minutes.

          Grace Residency
          Grace Residency

          Grace Residency

          Muthu Pandiyan Ave, Santhome High Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Mylapore Tiruvallikk, this golf hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Thome Cathedral and Marina Beach. Chennai Citi Center Mall and Kapaleeswarar Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Chennai Light House Station is 16 minutes by foot and Chennai Thirumayilai Station is 18 minutes.

            OYO 9655 Hotel Grace Residency
            OYO 9655 Hotel Grace Residency

            OYO 9655 Hotel Grace Residency

            13 Muthupandian Avenue, Santhome High Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Mylapore Tiruvallikk, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Thome Cathedral and Marina Beach. Chennai Citi Center Mall and Kapaleeswarar Temple are also within 1 mile (2 km). Chennai Light House Station is 16 minutes by foot and Chennai Thirumayilai Station is 18 minutes.

              Hyatt Regency Chennai AU$158
              Hyatt Regency Chennai

              Hyatt Regency Chennai

              365 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Chennai hotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of Consulate General of the United States, Chennai, Express Avenue and Spencer's Plaza Shopping Mall. Marina Beach and Kapaleeswarar Temple are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                OYO 15132 Colors AU$80
                OYO 15132 Colors

                OYO 15132 Colors

                128 Santhome High Rd, Chennai, TN
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Mylapore, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of San Thome Cathedral and Kapaleeswarar Temple. Marina Beach and Chennai Citi Center Mall are also within 1 mile (2 km). Chennai Thirumayilai Station is 19 minutes by foot and Chennai Mandavelli Station is 23 minutes.