San Thome Church was built in Chennai in the 16th century by Portuguese traders who invaded India. The Portuguese built it as a minor basilica, but the British rebuilt it in 1893 giving it the status of a cathedral. The structure that exists today was built by the British. The new structure was given a Neo-Gothic look that was very popular among the British architects of the 19th century.
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According to Christian mythology, St Thomas was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. He arrived on the shores of Kerala directly from The Holy Land sometime during 52 A.D. and stayed on in the place until 72 A.D. He received martyrdom in 72 A.D. on the peak of what is now known as St Thomas Mount.
San Thome basilica is now an important church in the region and comes under the Madras-Mylapore catholic Archdiocese since it is a Roman catholic church. It is one of the important pilgrim centers for Christian of India.