|Sé cathedral of old Goa,dedicated to st.Catherine. goa-tourism.com|
|Largest in Goa & Asia: Sé cathedral of old Goa flickr.com|
|King Dom Sebastião (1557-78) .wikimedia.org|
|Sé cathedral of old Goaflickr.com|
the construction of this imposing structure had begun in earnest in 1562 and later completed in 1619. As mentioned above,
the main altars did not get ready until the year 1652. However, the consecration of the cathedral was done in 1640. It is said the expenses were met by the Royal Treasury out of the proceeds of the sale of the Crown's property and it was built for the Dominicans.
|Sé cathedral of old Goa remotetraveler.com|
The Sé cathedral originally had two tall towers on either side at the front, but the one on the south side collapsed in 1776. Since the loss of Bell tower. it has not been rebuilt, and surprisingly, this cathedral with plain exterior has a unique appearance in the Tuscan tradition and it is quite catchy. Yet another interesting feature is this cathedral has has five bells. The surviving tower houses a famous bell, believed to be the largest in Goa and is often referred to as 'Golden Bell' owing to its rich and distinct tone which has been immortalized in a Portuguese poem. As for the main altar, it is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, and has old paintings on either side of it displaying various scenes from her life and martyrdom. The Saint was beheaded in Alexandria and among the images here are those showing her awaiting execution and being carried to Mount Sinai by angels
|Sé cathedral of old Goa and ASI. okaso.in|
|Sé cathedral of old Goa, travel.sygic.com|
The notable feature is there are four chapels on either side of the nave, two of which have perforated wooden screens across the entrance. The screens are so beautiful, its workmanship is just amazing. Of these two screened chapels, the outstanding Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament has a nicely gilded and beautifully decorated wall and ceiling as opposed to the sober look of the cathedral's interior.
|Largest in Goa & Asia: Sé cathedral of old Goa alamy.com|
There are small statuettes of St Francis Xavier and St Ignatius Loyola inset into the main pillars supporting the choir The chamber to the right, contains the baptismal font made in 1532, apparently brought from the old Cathedral.
St Francis Xavier is said to have baptized thousands of Goan converts using this font. A large painting of St. Christopher is hung beneath the choir.
The four chapels are to the left of the entrance dedicated to Our Lady of Virtues, St. Sebastian, the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Life. The four chapels to the right are dedicated to St. Anthony, St. Bernard, the Cross of Miracles and the Holy Ghost.
There are two wooden pulpits in the nave projecting from two columns on the right. There are are six altars in the transept, three on either side of the main altar. The altars on the right side are those of St. Anna, Our Lady of Dolores and St. Peter, while those on the left are those of Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Three Necessities and Our Lady of Hope.
The arches in the altars are decorated with paintings depicting scenes from the lives of the saints. The wooden statues of St. Paul and St. Peter are kept in the niche on either side of the nave.
There is an 18th century organ kept in a projecting gallary near the altar in the nave. There are also seats for the canon and a throne for the archbishop in the nave. Yet another feature is an old richly carved ebony stand, which was originally in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The church is modelled after St. Peter's Church in Rome as it is revealed by the presence of vaulted structure with gilded altar in the sacristy.
The adjoining conventis turned in to an Archaeological Museum and is open to the public. Just behind the cathedral lies a two storied edifice, the Palace of the Archbishop, which is no longer in use. The Franciscan church lies to the the west of the cathedral. Archdiocese of Goa and Daman is taking care of the administration. It is a UNESCO world Heritage Site.