The oldest European church and synagogue in India are in the city of Cochin. They were built in 1503 and 1568 respectively.It has been rated as the oldest synagogue in all the 53 member-countries of the Commonwealth of Nations.The Jewish Synagogue is located in what is today known as the Jew Town in the Kochi city of Kerala. It is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area that is still in use. The synagogue was built on a land gifted to the Malabari Yehuden community by Raja Varma, the then, Raja of Kochi and shares a common wall with the famous Mattancherry Palace temple. They were descendents of European and Middle Eastern Jews, who made their way to India during the pre British times. Black Jews, comprising traders and craftsmen were allowed only to pray and as such, were not admitted to full membership.