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Shubhyatra >> Goa Yatra >> Saint Catherine Church


Location : Old Goa, Panjim, Goa
Built In : 1510
Built By : Afonso de Albuquerque
Famous As : The first church built in Old Goa to commemorate his victory

Chapel of St. Catherine - The Gateway To Christianity

The Chapel  of St. Catherine
The Chapel of St. Catherine

Among the numerous churches dotting the palm-fringed land of Old Goa, the dainty, diminutive Chapel of St. Catherine stands alpine because of its distinct Renaissance features. Nestling at a stone's throw to the south of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, this pale-yellow structure of laterite blocks caresses a tower on either side of the edifice. The original facade was built by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510 as a mud structure to commemorate his first footprints in the town. A few years later, a stone chapel replaced the thatched structure, and a new altar was placed by the then Governor George Cabral in 1550. One can still see the engraved slab that reads..

"Here in this place was the doorway through which Governor Afonso de Albuquerque entered and took this city from the Mohammadans on the day of St. Catherine in the year 1510 at the expenses of his Highness."

Divine Inside of The Church

Protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, the elegant Chapel of St. Catherine portrays marvellous Renaissance features. Be it the square towers that flank the three-storeyed facade or the semicircular niche above the window that lodges a statue of St. Catherine, every indefinite article breathes a definite medieval aroma in the church. However, the sacred hall subscribes to a simple plan; cruciform shape with a square apse in its heart. Due to its immense popularity, the chapel was restored in 1951, with the savvy of veterean Portuguese architect Baltazar de Castro, when special attention was given to the vault and sacristy. Walk inside the nave and you can see four crosses placed over the Church roof and a Gothic one over the main altar, that create an impressive sight.

Drive Your Way

The Chapel of St. Catherine is situated next to and just south of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and Se Cathedral in Old Goa. This serene, secluded patch of virgin land is situated on the banks of the Mandovi River in east Tiswadi Taluka in Central Goa. Drive comfortably on NH 4A, which begins as the Ribander Causeway, runs east along the Mandovi River, through the rustic and continues south-east to Ponda. For more tourist related information contact GTDC, Old Goa Tourist Hotel, behind Police Station, near Gandhi statue. The sacred hall is open from 6 am-6 pm.

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Top 5 Highlights of Chapel of St. Catherine

St. Catherine Church , Goa

The House of Divinity
Built by Afonso De Albuquerque as a mud structure to commemorate his first footprints in the town of Old Goa, the Chapel of St. Catherine houses a divine statue of the saint that attracts hundreds of devotees from all corners of the statue to this trivial land.

The Grand Architecture To Behold
The church affords an exquisite Renaissance work of art that might change into an inspiration when seen. This three-storeyed facade still bears a medieval aroma which has to be seen to experience.

The Altars of Sanctity
The Church of St. Catherine houses three impressive altars that are a pleasure to every devotee and tourist. Walk inside the nave and you can also see beautiful motifs embellishing its colossal walls.

Head Held High Upto The Sky
Walk to the outside of the church building and look back. You will see the pale-yellow structure of laterite blocks standing with its head held high. You must know that this chapel was raised to the state of the cathedral by Pope Paul III by a bill issued in 1534.

When They Sing The Prayer
Try to visit the chapel during the mass timings and you will witness a cluster of devotees chanting prayers to the Saint. Join them in the morning for a religious start of your holiday.

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