The magnificent Mattancherry Palace built by the Portuguese in the year 1557, is considered to be one of the important places to see in Ernakulam. Popularly known as Dutch Palace, its imposing structure and architecture resembles a typical traditional Kerala house with 4 individual wings and a patio in between. Located on Palace Road, a place noted for being the former trade centre, it is flanked by backwaters of the Arabian Sea and is a short distance away from the heart of Ernakulam.
The rustic and old-fashioned streets leading to the Mattancherry Palace are an inspiration to history buffs, film-makers, travellers and artists alike. The palace encompasses a huge courtyard in the centre that has a beautiful temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagavati, the protective deity of Kochi community. Also worth seeing is the vivid collection of frescos and paintings adorning a large portion of the palace walls and the sprawling gardens and manicured lawns. It is believed that in the yester years, this cheri (street), was lined with mutton butchers, and so it ended up being called “Mattancherry”. Today, the place displays centuries-old architectures and various social and cultural imprints and ruins left behind by foreigners.
Formerly known for being the spice hub in Kochi due to the trade of tea and spices like pepper, cardamom and turmeric, Mattancherry is known for being a place of multiple cultures with various communities like Jews, Konkanis, Gujaratis, Jains and Marathis residing there. Here gothic style churches, agraharams, mosques and synagogues coexist.