45 Min - 1 Hour
The Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina, known as Se Cathedral, is the cathedral of the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and the seat of the Patriarch of the East Indies. Located in Old Goa, Se Cathedral is located on the banks of the Mandovi River. One of the oldest and most celebrated religious buildings in Goa. It is one of the ancient and the largest churches of Asia which is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria. It is the church of the Latin Rite Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, and the seat of the Patriarch of the East Indies. The church is situated on the western side of the main square, Terreiro de Sabato, with the front facing the east. It took around eight years to construct this beautiful church, under the reign of the Portuguese. This church represents the royal and imperial atmosphere of Goa prevailing at that time. UNESCO marked it as a heritage site and is considered as one of the most sacred places among the Christians. The structural design of the church is classically Portuguese with a Corinthian core and Tuscan peripheral. People from all over the world come to visit this church and to take the blessings of God. Apart from being a holy shrine, it is also the main attraction of tourism in Goa. In 1776, lightning struck a tower on the northern side of the church destroying it. Till now it has not been rebuilt. According to legends, it is believed that in 1919, a vision of Jesus Christ appeared on the Church and from that time onwards it is assumed that the cross is increasing in size.
The history traces back to the time of Dominicans, who were the first missionaries to be sent to India by the Portuguese. The Se Cathedral nearby is dedicated to St. Catherine, as it was on her feast day, 25th November 1510 that Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa. Thus, this cathedral was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over a Muslim army, leading to the capture of the city of Goa in 1510. The Dominicans were originally the chaplains of the fleet brought by the conquering Portuguese naval general Alfonso de Albuquerque. Se` Cathedral Church of Old Goa The original church erected was that of mud, stones, and straw. Subsequent modifications were made and a second church came up in 1515. Later the status of the church was elevated to a cathedral and the structure demolished to make way for the subsequent building. Designed by engineers Julio Simao and Ambrosio Argueiro, It was commissioned by Governor George Cabral to be enlarged in 1552 on the remains of an earlier structure. The actual construction began in 1562 under the reign of King Dom Sebastião and substantially completed by 1619. This west facing church is made in shape of a cross and the Blessed Sacrament was placed on the altar on the feast day of the Guardian Angel amidst great solemnities.
The main altars, however, were not finished until the year 1652. The main altars, however, were not finished until the year 1652. It was consecrated in 1640. The Cathedral was built for the Dominicans and paid for by the Royal Treasury out of the proceeds of the sale of the Crown`s property. Viceroy Dom Francisco Coutinho, Count of Redondo (1561-1564) was instructed by the Portuguese government to build "a grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific". Facade around Se CathedralThe Cathedral has been built on a raised plinth of laterite, covered over with lime plaster. The Cathedral stands to the west of the great square called Terreiro de Sabaio and has its façade turned to the east. Its beautiful courtyard is approached by a flight of steps. The architecture style of Se Cathedral is Portuguese-Gothic. The church is 250 ft in length and 181 ft in a breath. The frontispiece stands 115 ft high. The west- facing cathedral has a Tuscan exterior with square towers flanking the 30.3 meter-high façade; whereas the intricately-detailed Corinthian interior has huge pillars dividing the 76.2 meter-long central space from the side aisles. The Se Cathedral is famous for its five massive bells. There were originally two towers, one on either side of the façade, but the one on the southern side collapsed in 1776. The loss of one bell tower, which was never rebuilt, has given the building a unique look. The existing tower houses a famous bell, `Golden Bell` which is one of the largest in Goa and one of the best in the world. On account of its melodic tone, it has been commemorated in a Portuguese poem.
The main entrance in the façade has Corinthian columns on plinths supporting a pediment containing an inscription in Latin recording that, in 1562, in the reign of King Dom Sebastiao, this Cathedral was ordered to be erected, the Archbishops and the primates being administrators and that the succeeding kings continued the same at the cost of the Royal Treasury. Inserted in the Corinthian columns are two marble basins for holy water. Beneath the choir is a large painting of St. Christopher. The cathedral has fifteen altars and eight chapels. The main altar is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria, where on either side of the altar stand images of St. Peter and St. Paul. Beautifying are engravings depicting Martyrdom of St. Catherine of Alexandria (307 A.D.). The altar has frames carved depicting scenes from the life of St. Catherine and a majestic crucifix. Close to the altar is placed the throne of Archbishop of Goa. In a gallery close to the nave is placed an eighteenth-century organ. To the right is a door leading to the barrel vault structured sacristy which has a model of St. Peter`s church in Rome.
Holy Ghost ChapelOn the right in the order of placing are the Chapels of St. Anthony, St. Bernard, Cruz Dos Milagres or the Miraculous Cross and The Holy Ghost. It is said that a vision of Christ is said to have appeared in 1919 and that the cross is growing in size. Se Cathedral also houses a baptismal font made in 1532 which was used by Saint Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa, in order to baptize several Goan converts.
On the left side are the chapels dedicated to Nossa Senhora de Necessidades, St. Sebastian, the Blessed Sacrament and the last to Nossa Senhora de Boa Vida. Among these, Chapels of Blessed Sacrament and The Miraculous cross are noteworthy. They are adorned with some outstanding filigree work (delicate and intricate ornamental work made from gold, silver, or other fine twisted wire).Further, in the interiors are placed six altars in the transverse part of the Cruciform of the church, three on either side of the main altar. To the right are those of St.Anna, Our Lady of Doloures and St.Peter and on left are those of Our Lady of Sorrows, Our lady of Three Necessities and Our Lady of Hope. The arches of four of these chapels are adorned with paintings depicting scenes from the life of saints. The neighboring convent is now an Archeological Museum for public viewing and behind the cathedral is the two storied Palace of Archbishop. However, this is not in use anymore.
|January to December|
|Monday||07:00 AM - 06:30 PM|
|Tuesday||07:00 AM - 06:30 PM|
|Wednesday||07:00 AM - 06:30 PM|
|Thursday||07:00 AM - 06:30 PM|
|Friday||07:00 AM - 06:30 PM|
|Saturday||07:00 AM - 06:30 PM|
|Sunday||07:00 AM - 06:30 PM|
|Last Admission||06:00 PM|
Things to carry
First aid kit
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