One of the oldest buildings that the Portuguese built in India is the Mattancherry Palace. Built in the 1550s, it was given to the raja of Kochi as an appeasement to make up for stealing from the Hindu temples. Many generations later the name was changed to the Dutch Palace.
The entrance to the palace is on the second floor so one must climb up a long flight of steps on the outside. The architecture of the palace is very simple; rectangular building surrounds a central courtyard. Inside are beautiful murals that depict religious themes and life at that time. The most distinctive feature of the palace is the use of wood in the ceilings and the raised thresholds between the large rooms. You have to lift your foot up a good 12 inches to step into the next room! One room has large, two built-in window seats that would be a nice place to spend an afternoon reading a book. Costumes worn by the royal family, armor and household items are on display. This is not to be missed!
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