Time to visit:
Mon – Sun 7:30AM to 6:30PM
1 hrs. (suggested)
Jan to Dec
Jun To Feb
Summer: 30°C – 40°C
Winter: 20°C – 25°C
Church of St. Francis of Assissi
· Easy Activity
At a distance of 9.2 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 27 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 22 km from Mapusa, St. Francis of Assisi Church is situated near the Se Cathedral in Old Goa. It is one of the prime tourist places to visit in Goa. This place is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site (Churches & Convents of Goa).
Courtesy: Travel Addiction [Vlog]
The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi is a Roman Catholic Church situated in the main square of Old Goa. The Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi were established by eight Portuguese Franciscan friars who landed in Goa in 1517. After their arrival in 1517 with their consistent efforts they constructed a small chapel with three altars and a choir. Eventually in the year 1521 the chapel was modified into a church and dedicated to the Holy Ghost in 1602. Later the church was pulled down and the present church was constructed on the same spot in 1616.
The west facing church has a nave with three chapels on both side, a choir on the first floor, a main altar and two other altars. Belfry and a sacristy are on the north of main altar, today which you see the house of Archaeological Museum was actually a convent forming annexure to the church.
The exterior of the Church is of the Tuscan order while the main entrance is in Manuline style. The main altar is Baroque with Corinthian features. There are no aisles but only a nave, which is rib-vaulted. The internal buttress walls separating the chapels and supporting the gallery on top.
The Church interior includes a richly ornamental niche with a tabernacle supported by the Four Evangelists on the main altar. In a niche on the façade stands a statue of our lady of miracles brought from Jaffna in Sri Lanka. Above the tabernacle are two large statues, one is St. Francis of Assisi and the other is the crucified Christ. A wooden statue of St. Francis of Assisi adorns a pedestal bearing the insignia of the Franciscans. A wooden pulpit richly carved with floral designs is to the left as one enters.
The convent contiguous to the Church now houses a museum that was set up by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1964. The museum contains artifacts, paintings and pieces of Hindu temple sculptures from Goa.
The original shrine, constructed by the Fransican monks in 1521 and subsequently enlarged, was showing signs of decay, so a new church was constructed and dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Built in 1665, it retained the portal of the old structure which was in the Portuguese–Manueline style. It is a unique architectural specimen, of this style in the country.
The façade of the church is built in the Tuscan style of architecture with only the portal being Manueline since it is a relic from the older structure. The façade is also distinctive in that it is flanked by octagonal towers. Close –
In 1517, eight Franciscan monks landed in Goa. They immediately set to work and built themselves a small chapel. This chapel was completed in 1521 and dedicated to the Holy Ghost. This building was later expanded upon and later consecrated as a church in 1602. However, it was not in good repair and it was later torn down and reconstructed in 1665.
The church is built of laterite blocks, covered with lime plaster. The original Manueline entrance way is flanked by two octagonal towers. The façade of the church is three tiered and has a small niche which houses the statue of Our Lady of Miracles which was brought from Jaffna in Sri Lanka.
In contrast to the simple outer façade the interiors of the church are unabashedly and lavishly decorated in the Baroque style using Corinthian influences. The highlight is the main altar, which has fine examples of this kind of work.
The altar is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and has above it a huge statue of the saint, and another of Jesus. These statues display excellent features and attention to detail. Flanking the altar are superb paintings on wood depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi and the history of the Seraphic Order. Close –
Although this church is not as large as the illustrious Se Cathedral, it is beautiful nonetheless. It is a single-nave church with three small chapels on either side of the nave. There are two altars besides the main one, which is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. Behind the altar are rooms which form the sacristy and there is a belfry to the north of the altar. The chapels and the gallery which runs around the top of the church are separated by internal buttresses.
Designed in a Baroque style the interior of the church is richly decorated. As you enter, on the left is an intricately carved wooden pulpit, decorated with floral patterns. The interior of the church itself is lavishly decorated with paintings depicting scenes from the Bible. The internal buttress walls have been carved with floral frescoes in the Indo-Portuguese Baroque style.
There are inscribed tombstones set into the stone floor of the church, many of which are worthy of note as they have been intricately carved. The main altar is carved and gilded, and beneath the statues of St. Francis of Assisi and Jesus is inscribed the vows of the saint “poverty, humility and obedience”. Beneath the main vault, is a richly carved niche containing the tabernacle, used for the repose of the Blessed Sacrament. The tabernacle is supported by sculptures of the Four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The Convent was built by the Franciscan friars around 1527 and later expanded. Today it houses the museum, established by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1964. Valuable sculptures and icons of pre-Portuguese era and portraits of Viceroys and Governor- Generals are displayed here.
This westward facing church has watched patiently over the faithful and seen the sun set on the Portuguese reign in India. The convent having been at first the simple living quarters of the Franciscan monks, then a convent and now a museum, is a timeless place, well worth a visit.
Old Goa is near about 9 kms from the capital city of Panaji. From Panaji, one can always hire locally running taxis, autos and buses to this part of the state. Same can also be said about the other nearby places to Se Cathedral as well.
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|Best Time to Visit||
December, February, January, March, November, October, September
|Ideal Duration at Location|
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|Eligibility (Age Groups)||
3 to 12 years, 13 to 19 years, 20 to 25 years, 26 to 40 years, 41 to 64 years, > 65 years
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