St. John's Church in Kolkata

The oldest church built by the East India Company.

The oldest church built by the East India Company. | Photo credit: Wikipedia /Rangan Datta Wiki

St. John's Church Overview

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Quaint, religiously significant and utterly magnificent - St. John's Church is one of Kolkata's most-visited attractions. Established in 1787, this is the third oldest church and among the first public buildings built by the East India Company in Kolkata. It served as Kolkata's Anglican Cathedral until it was transferred to St. Paul’s Cathedral in the year 1847.

The foundation stone of this historic edifice was laid by Warren Hastings (former British Governor General of India) on 6th April 1784, on the land donated by Maharaja Nabo Kishen Bahadur. Modelled on London's 'St. Martin-in-the-Fields', this church boasts of brilliant Neoclassical style of architecture.

Framed by tall columns, the church building has a stately portico and large stained windows. The use of blue-grey marble on the floor adds more to its exquisiteness. On the walls, there are plaques, memorial tablets and statues of British army officers. The main altar, which features a graceful stained glass window on the right and a painting of the Last Supper to the left, is simple in design yet elegant in looks. An oddly inappropriate epitaph of James Achilles Kirkpatrick and a plaque of the great-great-grandfather of historian William Dalrymple - James Pattle on the southern walls of the church are captivating.

An interesting fact associated with St. John's Church is that it was constructed on an old graveyard. Its compound still houses a good number of tombs and memorials, each of which has a beautiful design.

  • Opening Closing Time 08:00 am – 05:00 pm

  • Movie Connect

    In the emblematic St. John's Church of Kolkata, the popular song - Piyu Bole from the movie Parineeta (2005) has been shot. Pradeep Sarkar's novel based Parineeta is a Bollywood musical film that starred Vidya Balan, Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Raima Sen and Diya Mirza.

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Location

Kiran Shankar Roy Road, B B D Bagh, Kolkata, 700001, West Bengal