One of the first printing presses of Kerala, Vypeekotta Seminary is in ruins

vypeekotta seminary
Photo: muzirisheritage.org
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Paravur: At the Vypeekotta seminary functioned one of the first printing presses in Kerala. The remnants of this monastery could still be seen near the Mar Sleeva church in Chendamanglam. The Vypeekotta seminary was built by Jesuit priests, with the permission from the king of Cochin.

The monastery was also known as the Chennattu Maha Vidyalayam. It was John Gonsalvez, a monk at the monastery who carved the scripts required for printing. The first book to be printed at the Vypeekotta seminary was the religious text called Doctorina Christina, in Tamil language, in 1577.

This text is currently at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Lots of Malayalam books, too, were printed at this monastery. Now, only a part of the seminary remains, which is said to be in ruins. However, no measures have been taken to preserve these remaining parts of the structure. Three ancient caves could still be seen near the monastery which is currently under the archaeology department.

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