largest Churches in Old Goa, Se Cathedral was begun in 1562 during the
reign of King Dom Sebastiao
(1557-8). It was substantially completed by
1619, though the altars were not finished until 1652. The cathedral was
built for the Dominicans and paid for by royal treasury out of the
proceeds of the sale of crown property.
The building's style is Portuguese-Gothic with a Tuscan exterior and
Corinthian interior. They were once two tower a, one either side of the
facade, but one collapsed in 1776 The remaining tower houses a famous
bell, one of the largest in Goa, often called Golden Bell because its rich
sound. The main altar is dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandra, and
painting on either side of it depict scenes from life and martydom.
Convent & Church
of St Francis of Assisi
is one of the most interesting building in Old Goa. It contain gilded and
carved woodwork, old murals depicting scenes from the life of St Francis,
and a floor substantially made of carved gravestones-complete with family
coats of arms dating back to the early 16th century. The church was built
by eight Franciscan friars who arrives here in 1517 and constructed a
small chapel consisting of three altars and a choir. This was later pulled
down and the present building was built on the same spot in 1661.
convent at the back of this church is now the
Museum (open Saturday to Thursday, 10 am to 5 pm; free entry).
It is home to many portraits of the Portuguese viceroys, most of them
inexpertly touched up or restored; fragments of sculpture from Chalukyan
and Hoysala influences; stone Vetal images from the animist cult
which flourished in this part of India Centuries ago; and model of a
Portuguese carvel, minus the rigging.
Church of St Cajetan
on the original design of St Peter's in Rome, this church was built by
Italian friars of the Order of Theatines, who were sent by Pope Urban III
to preach Christianity in the kingdom of Golconda ( near Hyderabad ). The
friars were not permitted to work in Golconda, so settled at Old Goa in
1640. The construction of the church began in 1655. Historically, It's of
much less interest than the other churches.
Church of St Augustine Ruins
that is really left of this church is the enormous 46 meters tower which
served as a belfry and formed part of the facade of the church. The few
other remnants are choked with creepers and weeds, and access is
difficult. The church was constructed in 1602 by Augustine friars who
arrived at Old Goa in 1587. It was abandoned in 1835 due to the repressive
policies of the Portuguese government, which was resulted in the eviction
of many religious orders from Goa. The church fell into neglect and the
vault collapsed in 1842. In 1931, the facade and half the tower fell down,
followed by more sections in 1938.
of St Monica
This huge three
storey laterite building was completed in 1627, only to burn down nine
years later. Reconstruction started the following year, and its from this
time that the building date. Once known as the Royal Monastery, due to the
royal patronage which it enjoyed, the building is now used by the Master
Dei Institute as a nunnery and was inaugurated in 1964. Visitors are
allowed inside if they are reasonably dressed. There are fading murals on
the inside of the western walls.
The Basilica of Bom
world-renowned church contains the body of St. Francis Xavier, a former
pupil of soldier - turned - saint, Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the
Order of Jesuits. St. Francis Xavier remains the principal spiritual
treasure of the territory. The Jesuits began work on their own church in
1594. By 1605 it was finished and consecrated. In 1613 the body of St.
Francis was brought there from the Clooege of ST Paul. It was moved into
the church in 1624 and its present chapel in 1655 where it has remained
ever since. St. Francis was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622 and in
1624 and 1964 Pope XII raised the church to minor basilica. The
Order of Jesuits was suppressed in 1759 and its property confiscated by
the State. The church was, however allowed to continue services. The
House, next door to the basilica,
is a two storey laterite building covered with lime plaster. It was
completed in 1585, despite much opposition to the Jesuits. Part of the
building burned down in 1633 and was partially rebuilt in 1783. There's a
modern art gallery attached to basilica.
Rela Magos Church
It is 7kms, The
Rela Magos Church was constructed in 1555. It is one of the earliest
churches built in Goa and the first in Bardez Taluka, dedicated to three
Magi-Kings -( Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar). This church was once the
residence of all dignitaries and also a mission centre of the Franciscan
order. There is a fort adjacent to this Church.
The Church of Mae de
Deus at Saligoa (Bardez):
13kms, built in
1873, is situated amidst picturesque surroundings. The shrine of the
miraculous statue of Mae de Deus (Mother of God) was brought from the
ruins of the convent of Mae de Deus at Old Goa. This beautiful church is
the finest piece of Gothic style.
The Church of St.
Alex at Curtorim:
Margoa. It is one of the oldest churches in Goa, built in 1597 on the site
of Hindu shrine, named Ravalnath, the remnants of which are visible till
The Church of St Ana
dedicated to St Ana, is a remarkable piece of ancient Christian
architecture. It was built in 1695 on the right bank of Siridao river and
has picturesque surroundings. The unique feature of this church is that it
has hollow walls through which people could talk in secrecy for the
purpose of confession.
St .Jerome's Mapusa
The church was built in 1594 on the remains of the chief pagoda
of the place, whose idol was removed to Dargalim. It has 3 altars. The
main one begin dedicated to Our Lady of Miracles, whose statue with
the child Jesus is clothed in golden cloth and placed prominently above
the main altar, which is as richly carved as the pulpit. The ceiling of
this church is intricately patterned with strips of wood. Our Lady of
Miracles is held in great veneration by both Hindu and Christians. The
Feast is celebrated on the second Monday after Easter. A week long fair,
spread in itself in the areas surrounding the church. Furniture, hand
carved wooden toys, pottery , roasted gram are sold.