Get A Glimpse Of Chennai's History At These Heritage Buildings

Anna posted on 26 January

St. Andrew’s Kirk

St. Andrew’s Kirk was consecrated in 1821 and built for the Scottish community residing in the city during the British rule. Built in the Neo-Classical style, the body of the church is built in a circle with a shallow dome that is painted a deep blue on the inside, with golden stars. What really makes St. Andrews stand out is the beautiful stained-glass windows and of course the large pipe organ that takes up a lot of space at the altar. While the church has mass every day and on the weekends, people are still allowed to walk through and take a look at this beautiful historic church.


37, Poonamallee High Road, Egmore, Chennai

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Ripon Buildings

Named after the Governor-General of British India at the time, Lord Ripon, the building was constructed in 1917 and housed the Municipal Corporation of India. Like most of the buildings in the city, even the Ripon Buildings was built in the Neo-Classical style. And if you’re thinking that you’ve never seen the building before, think again! It’s the gorgeous white building near Chennai Central.


Sydenhams Road, Kannappar Thidal, Periyamet, Chennai

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Armenian Church

Considered one of the oldest churches in the country, the Armenian Church in George Town was first constructed in 1712 and then reconstructed in 1722. If you’ve ever been to George Town, you will recognise the church by the tall bell tower! But what you didn’t know is that the church no longer conducts mass and is completely a heritage site now, allowing visitors to walk in between 9am and 2:30pm every day. Also, the bell tower is famous because it houses six large bells weighing around 150 kg each! Next time you’re in the area, you know what to do.


60/116, Armenian Street, Near High Court, George Town, Chennai

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Vivekananda House

Originally built as the Ice House where the ice was stored by the British for almost 30 years, it was sold when the business failed and was renovated to become Castle Kernan. But when Swami Vivekananda visited for nine days in 1897, it was renamed and restyled to become a center and a permanent exhibition on Indian Culture as well as Swami Vivekananda’s life. It is absolutely worth a visit whenever you have the time!


Kamaraj Salai, Marina Beach Road, Triplicane, Chennai

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Madras High Court Annex

Established in 1862, the Madras High Court was one of the three high courts in the country that was set up by Letters patent (a document issued by a monarch or government granting permission to start a corporation under their name) granted by Queen Victoria. And while the name of the city has changed from Madras to Chennai, the high court still retains the original name of ‘Madras High Court’. You can’t visit the high court and walk through like you’d hope you could but it is still quite a beautiful building to look at. Did you know? Our current Chief Justice, Ms. Indira Banerjee, is only the second woman in the country to hold this position ever.

Government Offices

High Court Road, George Town, Chennai

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Chennai Central

Most of us have travelled through Chennai Central at some point in our lives or the other. It is still one of the best connected railway stations in the country, with trains leaving every day for different parts of the state as well as to other cities. The 144-year-old building was designed and built by George Harding and came into existence in 1873 after the congestion at the Royapuram Harbor Station.


Kannappar Thidal, Periyamet, Chennai

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    San Thome Basillica

    In the 16th century, the Catholic church built a place of worship over St. Thomas’ tomb, but then in 1893 it was built as a church in a Neo-Gothic style. The church still stands in the same place, over St. Thomas’ tomb and is one of the three known churches in the world to be built over the tomb of one of Jesus’ apostles. It is one of the most iconic churches in Chennai and is a landmark for the Catholic church as well as a popular pilgrimage center in the country.

    Religious Establishments

    38, Santhome High Road, Dummingkuppam, Mylapore, Chennai

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