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Jew Town / Antique shops

Jew Town is the narrow street between Mattancherry Palace and the Pardesi Synagogue. It is famous for the antique shops all along its sides.  The colonial buildings lining the street add to its old-world charm. 

The Jews from Kodungallore were given shelter by the King of Kochi, in 1524. He allocated land in Mattancherry, near his palace, to them. This area later became Jew Town.

Antique shops in Jews Street
Take a walk along the Jew Town and you can breathe antiquity. The curio and antique shops along the street are capable of enchanting the visitors with their variety and rarity.

Emergence of antique shops
The 20th century witnessed large-scale migration of Jews to Israel with the result that many dwellings on Jew Town became unoccupied. Antiques such as carved wooden furniture and vessels, as well as curios from these dwellings were collected and kept for sale in the shops on Jew Town. Gradually, the demand for such items increased, especially among tourists. Consequently, there emerged many antique shops selling  articles of Indian, European, Chinese and Arab origin. Coupled with this growth was the appearance of many handicraft and garment shops of ethnic products.

Objects of antiquity on display
The antique shops on Jew Town store anything and everything that can be described as antique and that may catch the eye of a tourist. Jewellery, crockery, wooden pillars, curios, wooden and metal figurines, statuettes, carved wooden furniture and handicrafts like wooden elephants, mirrors, wall hangings, paintings - you name it, they have it. There are also lamps, Chinese urns, door frames, vintage photographs, and glass and porcelain ware that were once part of churches or homesteads of noble families.

Apart from these antiques, one can find sculptures, handmade toys, embroidered garments, floral oils, and chandeliers in many other shops along the street. 

A big vaarpu (bronze vessel with handles on both sides) almost three metres in diameter is one of the major attractions on Jew Town.

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