San Thome Cathedral Basilica was built in 1504 and rebuilt in 1890 extending to 180 ft basilica. It is one of Chennai’s historic landmarks.
It is one of the top tourist places to visit in Chennai city. The church gets its name from St.Thomas, the apostle of Jesus who is believed to have come to India sometime during 52 A.D. It is believed he was killed on St. Thomas Mount just outside the city in 78 AD and his remains interred in Santhome beach where a church was later built. Several years later, another church was built further inland and his mortal remains were transferred here.
In 1956, Pope Pius XII raised the church to the status of a Basilica Minor, and on 11 February 2006, it was declared a national shrine by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. The San Thome Basilica is a pilgrimage centre for Christians in India. The church also has an attached museum. San Thome Basilica is the principal church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madras and Mylapore.