St. Thomas' Cathedral, Vaddukoddai

St. Thomas' Cathedral, Vaddukoddai
St. Thomas' Cathedral (old name Batticotta Dutch Church) is the seat of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India located in Vaddukoddai, in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka.

As mentioned on the plaque that is fixed onto the facade of the church, this building has been constructed in 1678 by Laurens Pyl (Martyn, 2003; Wijebandara, 2014). 
Text (In Dutch): Doen Maken Door Den Heer Commandeur Laurens Pyls Anno 1678
Translation: Caused to be built by Commandeur Laurens Pyl, 1678
Although such a description is revealed on the plaque, the church is said to have been built by the Portuguese in 1640 (Wijebandara, 2014). It was taken over and renovated by the Dutch before being handed over to the American Ceylon Mission. The church is now an integral part of the  Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India.
There are about 27 tombstones in the backyard of the church (Wijebandara, 2014). Of them, most of the stones belong to the Dutch while a few belong to the British (Wijebandara, 2014). It is said that these stones were brought here from the Dutch Church in Jaffna Fort (Wijebandara, 2014). Of the stones, the oldest one is inscribed in 1666 (Wijebandara, 2014). The tombstone marking the grave of a son of Laurens Pyl who died in 1679 is also found here (Martyn, 2003).
A protected monument
Vaddukodai Christian Church situated in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. fma/166 Vaddukodai in the Chankanai Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 30 December 2011. 

1) St. Thomas' Cathedral, Vaddukoddai by AntanO is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

1) Martyn, J.H., 2003. Martyn's Notes on Jaffna: Chronological, Historical, Biographical. Asian Educational Services. p.19.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.502.
3) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.115-116.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 14 November 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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