Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the cathedral mother church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. It is also known as “Samba Kovil” which is a phonetic corruption of “Saint Paul’s Kovil” where “Kovil” means church. The Jesuit Fathers came to the French colony of Pondicherry as missionaries in 1689. There they bought a very large garden to the west of the French Fort. In 1692 they, with the financial help of Louis XIV, king of France, erected a church which was demolished by the Dutch in the following year. A second Church was quickly built in 1699 but could not last long. From 1728 to 1736 a large church was built on the site of the present Cathedral. This third church was razed to the ground by the British in 1761 during the Seven Years’ War. The Fest of this Church i.e., Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary falls on the 8th of December. Now the church which stands for around 300 years is also the place where the bishop house is also situated. Mass services in Tamil and English are conducted. It is one of the oldest tourist sites in Puducherry and was visited by Mother Teresa during her visit to Puducherry.