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Home     Goa Guide     Church of St Francis of Assisi

Church of St Francis of Assisi

Just like Se Cathedral, facing west stands Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi built in 1521. The church joins Se Cathedral at the convent. The church and convent were built by Franciscan friars, the first group that came to Goa in 1517. Back then it was a chapel.

Later, it was modified into a church in 1521 and consecrated to the Holy Spirit on 2nd August, 1602. The church was rebuilt in 1661, but the black stone gate finely carved was retained. The convent reconstructed in 1529 was initially a group of cells built by Friars in the garden for residence purpose. The Government of Portugal closed the convent in 1835. Later in 1964, a museum was set up in the convent and today, it houses a number of artifacts, paintings and sculptors. The interiors are Mosaic Corinthian in style, the arch ribbed; the walls are illustrated with scenes from Bible and vault ribbed.

The church has a main altar and two other on either side in the transept, a nave with three chapels on its either side and a choir on first floor. Among the most outstanding churches in Old Goa is that of St. Francis of Assisi, constructed contiguously in 1531 for the Franciscan friars. The lime-plastered laterite blocked structure, nestling beside the former palace of the Archbishop contains, perhaps, the most elegant work of religious art of the seventeenth century. Interestingly, it is amongst the few early 16th century relics of purely Portuguese architecture which you find in the east.

During the zenith of its glory and magnificence, it was applauded as the richest and most beautiful church in the world. Due to unknown reasons, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi had to be demolished in 1661 but was later rejuvenated through voluntary contributions. Today, it stands majestic with its carved gates and gorgeous columns as one of the most visited churches in Old Goa.

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