Thursday, 4 August 2016

Awe-inspiring - the Church of St. Francis of Assisi,Goa,

India- Old Goa  colonial Portuguese Colonial period. Church of St Francis of Assisi. Credit: www.alamy.com

St. Francis of Assisi, first built in 1521, Goa, India. Credit:www.alamy.com
Goa in Western India has numerous  churches -  mostly catholic, built during the colonial period  when the Portuguese were the masters of Goa and adjacent places. It is believed that there were as many as 60 churches in the old Goa itself. 

The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, a Roman Catholic church - made of  lime plastered laterite stones,  is an impressive one  and is being visited by lots of people. Situated in the main square of Old Goa, 6 miles (10 kilometres) east of Panaji, Goa’s state capital. this  Church  along with a convent, was built  by eight Portuguese Franciscan friars who landed in Goa in 1517. First built as a Chapel in 1521, it was  enlarged in 1562 as a church and consecrated and deicated to the Holy ghost in 1602. In 1612  a new stucture was built in the place of the old one. In the same compound Terreiro de Sabao, one can see the Se cathedral and the erstwhile palace of the  Archbishop of the East Indies. The convent was ordered to be closed by the Portuguese administration in 1835. Earlier the friars built the building for their stay and later it became a convent.The ASI has a museum there, containing lots  of antiques and picture of Viceroys, etc. Portraits of Vasco da Gama and Com Joa de Castro, a statue of Alfonso de Albuquerque, a bronze statue of St. Catherine of Alexandria, 1000-year old idols of Hindu deities made of Basaltic rocks (of Volcanic origin), etc are worth mentioning. These artifacts, paintings, and sculptures  take us right back to Goa's rich, vibrant colonial  period that saw their ups and down in their struggle to establish in the midst of competing other european colonists.

This church's interior is beautifully decorated, particularly, in the altar which is beneath the rib  and the decorations reflect the baroque and Corinthian influences. The rib-vaulted nave without aisles is impressive.There is a fine large tabernackle supported by four evangelists statues above which  is the main altar with a belfry. Large statues of St. Francis of Assisi and Christ on the Cross are placed on the altar.
Interior of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi,  first built in 1521 during Portuguese time.Goa, India. Credit: www.alamy.com
Three chapels on each side are separated by well decorated internal
St. Francis of Assisi, built in 1521, Goa, India. Credit: www.pi2travel.com
buttress walls supporting the gallery. Yet another feature that attracts the attention of the touists is the 17th-century  Italian paintings, depicting various important episodes from the Holy Bible. The church's entrance is artistically decorated  with circular pilasters and rossete bands.The exterior of the church -facade is simple with a three tier structure chracteristic of  octogonal tower on eithe side. In the cental  niche on the façade, there is is a statue of St. Michael.
 
The Se Cathedral, the Basilica of Bom Jesus with St. Francis Xavier’s tomb and other churches attract lots of tourists. The Se cathedral is connected to the Church of of Saint Francis of Assisi through the palace which was once occupied by the Archbishop of East Indies. 
Ref:
http://www.goatourism.gov.in/destinations/churches/129-the-convent-and-church-of-st-francis-of-assisi