Location : Old Goa, Panjim, Goa
Present Church Was Built In
Architectural Style :
Baroque & Manuline Style
This 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.
The convent at the back of this church is now the Archaeological 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.
Architecture of the Building
The exterior of the Church is of the Tuscan Order while the main entrance is in
Manu line 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, have frescoes showing intricate floral designs.
In a niche on the façade, stands a statue of our lady of miracles brought from Jaffna in Sri Lanka. 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. Beneath a ribbed vault with frescoes showing floral decorations, is the main altar, which is gilded and has a richly carved niche with a tabernacle supported by the four evangelists.
Old Goa can be reached by Taxi, Bus, Auto-rickshaw or Motorcycle. The city can be explored on taxi, motorbike or on foot. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is near the church of Bom Jesus, which is easily accessible on foot.
Goa has a vast option for stay. There are many luxury, star rated and budget hotels available all over Goa. Old Goa is also no exception. One can also opt for stay in Panaji, 10 Km from Old Goa. Government of India and Goa Government also have hotels and guest houses in Goa.
The Architectural Grandeur
The tabernacle was used for displaying the holy sacrament. Above the tabernacle, in the main altar, is a large statue of St. Francis of Assisi and an equally large statue of Jesus on the cross. Beneath the two figures are inscribed the three vows of the Saint - poverty, humility and obedience. On either side of the main altar, in the nave, are beautiful large paintings on wood, depicting scenes from the life of
St. Francis of Assai.
The scenes include
An angel revealing to his mother that she would beget a child who would become a great saint
His first anointment
Praying at the church of St. Dominica when Jesus
commands him to support his kingdom.
The saint taking the oath and joining the Dominican odder.
His visit to the Sultan of Damascus.
The saint showing his wounds to Pope Gregory
In the first floor on the western side, is the choir, which has amidst carved wooden panels, portrait from Franciscan hagiology.
The origin of this church and the attached convent can be traced to the humble beginnings made by eight Franciscan friars, who, on their arrival in 1517, secured from the then Governor a few houses that belonged to a deceased Thanadar. By their persistent efforts they constructed a small chapel with three altars and a choir. A church consecrated to the Holy Ghost was built in 1521 and was later pulled down and the present church was built on the same spot in 1661 retaining only the entrance of the earlier church.