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Luz Church (Shrine of Our Lady of Light) Tours

Luz Church (Shrine of Our Lady of Light)
Believed to be the oldest church in Chennai, Luz Church (Shrine of Our Lady of Light) was built in 1516 by Franciscan missionaries from Portugal. The Gothic and baroque structure, besides being one of the oldest European monuments in India, is also a classic example of Portuguese colonial church architecture.
The Basics
While the church is undoubtedly impressive from the outside, with classical Portuguese styling including a white-washed facade and terra-cotta-hued ornamentation, the interiors are what really make this spot worth a visit. Here you'll find ornate gilding, beautiful fresco-painted ceilings, and an altar featuring silver and gold embellishments. Although it's not as popular as nearby San Thome cathedral, some Mylapore tours stop here, and visiting with a guide can help you gain a more in-depth understanding of the church's local and historical significance.
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Luz Church is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in architecture or history.
  • Dress modestly, with shoulders and legs covered, out of respect for local customs.
  • If you attend Mass or another event, refrain from taking photos or wandering around.
How to Get There

Luz Church is situated in Mylapore, a culturally rich area known for its numerous churches and temples, including the famous Kapaleeswarar Temple, a 15-minute walk away. The church is about a 10-minute drive inland from Marina Beach, a 10-minute walk from the Thirumayilai commuter train station, or a 15-minute walk from Mundakakanniamman Koil station.
When to Get There
The church is open to visitors daily, but Mass is celebrated weekdays at 6:30am and 12pm, Saturday at 6:30pm, and Sunday at 6am, 7:30am, 9am, and 6pm, so visit outside of those times if you want to walk around or take pictures. Sunday evening Mass is held in English. Check ahead for special events during Holy Week, Easter, Christmas, Assumption, and other Catholic holidays.
The Legend Behind the Luz
According to local legend, in 1500 Franciscan Portuguese missionaries on their way to India became lost at sea and prayed to the Virgin Mary for guidance. The missionaries saw a light appear and followed it to land. When they reached the source of the light, all they found was an empty stretch of forest, where they then built a church in honor of Our Lady of Light.
Address: Kapali Thottam, Luz Church Rd, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, India
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Trip to Visit Historically Significant Churches in Chennai

Trip to Visit Historically Significant Churches in Chennai

Luz Church (1516), St. Thomas Mount Church (1523), St. Mary's Church (1680) and Armenian Church (1772) - These churches of Chennai reflect the 500 years of rich architectural heritage and the cultural traditions of the devout Christians who built them. Let's take once in life time experiences on this tour when you're in Chennai.
  • 6 to 7 hours
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size

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