Santa Cruz Church, Bangkok

Santa Cruz Church, Bangkok

Santa Cruz Church is a small Roman Catholic Church located on the east side of the Chao Phraya River close to Memorial Bridge. It is one of the landmarks of the Portuguese community at the river coast of Thonburi District.

In 1516, Portugal signed a treaty with Thailand to supply ammunitions and as a result obtained the rights to reside, trade and practice their religion in Thailand. When Ayutthaya was defeated in 1767, the Portuguese continued with their military support to King Taksin so as to drive the Burmese out of Thailand. After the destruction of Ayutthaya, the Catholics from the old city moved south to start a village by the Chao Phraya. They built the Church of Santa Cruz in the 1700s on the land gifted by King Taksin in appreciation for their loyalty. But the wooden church fell in disrepair and was replaced by a second one in 1835. Since this church had a rather Chinese design, the villagers named it “Kudi Jeen” or Chinese church. The church was built third time in 1916 by two renowned Italian architects Annibale Rigotti and Mario Tamagno.

Before Easter, people prepare the church for the most important catholic feast. They prepare a cart which looked like it was used in an Easter procession. Since Good Friday and the Saturday before Easter are the days of mourning before the celebration of the resurrection, the cross at the altar is covered by a black cloth. Behind the church are the graves of past priests.

Church of Santa Cruz is about the only clue that this part of Bangkok was the area where Portuguese merchants and missionaries once lived in the early years of Bangkok. This Church of the Holy Cross is a legacy of Thai-Portuguese relations that date back to the 16th century. The reddish dome of this Old Catholic church is a prominent landmark on the Chao Phraya River. The sidewalls of the church are decorated with stained glass etched with biblical images. A crucifix is present in one corner of the courtyard and a statue of Mary stands elegantly in the other.

On your visit to Bangkok, do not forget to see this beautiful church to appreciate the architecture of Portuguese culture and heritage.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Bangkok, Thailand within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Santa Cruz Church on Map

Sight Name: Santa Cruz Church
Sight Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Sight Type: Religious

Walking Tours in Bangkok, Thailand

Create Your Own Walk in Bangkok

Create Your Own Walk in Bangkok

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bangkok is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Food Walk

Food Walk

What other city, besides Bangkok, has such a full-flavored, boundless, voracious, passionate approach to eating? Despite the comforts and conveniences of air-conditioning and fashion cafes, some of the most outstanding meals in the city also known as the “Big Mango” can be had at the food stalls and open-air markets. Follow this self-guided walk to get the best of the street eats and fine...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Wats and Temples of Bangkok

Wats and Temples of Bangkok

Bangkok's shrines are integral to the city's heart and soul. These edifices can impress and overwhelm even the most experienced traveler. In the city you'll find thousands of sites with decorated glass and ceramics and ornamented with complex configurations of painted gold. Take this self guided walk of Wats and Temples to see the best of the many holy shrines Bangkok has to offer.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Bangkok Old City Walk

Bangkok Old City Walk

The Thai capital Bangkok emerged in the 15th century as a small trading post in the Chao Phraya River delta. The origin of the name “Bangkok” is unclear and was likely a colloquial adopted by foreigners, in which Bang is the Thai word for “village on a stream” and Ko means “island”, referring to the city's watery landscape. Another opinion is that it may be shortened from Bang...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles
Flower Market to Chinatown

Flower Market to Chinatown

One of the shopping capitals of the world, Bangkok is a city where just about anything is available if you know where to look for it. For those who love visiting old-style markets with their colors, noise and pungent aromas, this self-guided walk is for you. From Flower Market to Chinatown, you will see the traditional side of Bangkok's shopping and eating options, for a real flavor of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinatown Walking Tour

One of the city's brightest, most vibrant and interesting districts, Chinatown is packed with some of the best tourist spots in Bangkok including amazing temples and colonial-style architecture. Easily explored on foot, it is also a great place to find good bargains, from fabrics to dry goods, to teas, fish, and gold. Don't forget to bring small bills and an umbrella while visiting the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Top 15 Things to Buy in Bangkok

Top 15 Things to Buy in Bangkok

Well-made, local products not only remind people of the trip they've had, but also make great gifts to bring home to family and friends. Following is the list of original and representative of Bangkok local specialties that you might wish to consider as a memorable...
7 Places in Bangkok for Superb Street Food

7 Places in Bangkok for Superb Street Food

Eating is huge in Bangkok, and luckily for the famished, you won't be that way for long, regardless of the hour. You can find conglomerations of vendors selling five-star fast food (in the you-won't-have-to-wait-long-to-enjoy-it sense, not McDonald's style) for under 100 baht (roughly...