Sunday, May 3, 2009

Santa Cruz Church, Bangkok

Santa Cruz Church (Holy Cross Church, โบสถ์ซานตาครูซ) is a small Roman Catholic church located on the east side of the Chao Phraya river, close to Memorial Bridge. It is one of the landmarks of the Portuguese community, at the river coast of Thonburi district.

The church was built in 1916 by two renowned Italian architects Annibale Rigotti and Mario Tamagno. It is however the third church of this name at this location, the first one was built in 1770 on land given to the Portuguese by King Taksin. The wooden church fell in disrepair, and was replaced by a second one in 1835 under Bishop Pallegoix.

Lately I visited the church for the third time, and for the first time was able to see the inside as well. I came there on the Saturday before Easter, and it had several people preparing the church for the most important catholic feast, especially preparing a cart which looked like it was to be used in an Easter procession. The only drawback of the date I went there - the cross at the altar was covered by a black cloth since Good Friday and the Saturday before Easter are the days of mourning before the celebration of the resurrection.

Behind the church are a few tombstone, the graves of past priests in this church. The central and largest one belongs to Father Khulianmokin Dakrut (คุณพ่อ คูเลียลโมกิ้น ดากรู้ส, 1880-1949), who if I read the only website with his name correctly was active in the construction of the church in 1916.

Quite a lot of the information in this posting originates from the great site Tour Bangkok Legacies, which also shows some more photos of the compound. It also includes a guide to the nearby Kuan Yin shrine, however I haven't yet visited that one.

1 comment:

Talen said...

Wow! That is a really beautiful church...great pics too. I've seen other churches in Thailand but none that old with the beautiful architecture.