Location: Old Goa, 10 kilometers from Panaji
Highlights: Architecture has a combination of Hindu and
How to Reach: St. Francis of Assisi Church can be reached easily
by hiring local transport like cab, auto or even bus from Panaji or
anywhere in Goa.
A stunning and charming building, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi
is located in Old Goa at a distance of some 10 kilometers from the
capital city, Panaji. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is at the same
complex in which Se Cathedral is located. The Church of St. Francis of
Assisi of Goa was built during 1517-1521 AD. St. Francis of Assissi
Church of India has now been turned into a museum. An interesting fact
about the church is that the architectural style of the church has a mix
of Christian and Hindu elements.
In 1521, the church was consecrated to the Holy Spirit but was
demolished after some time. The church that is present here today was
built in 1661. The entrance hall of the earlier church remained as it
is. When the new church was built, there was also an educational
institution within the church. However the institution was closed down
by the Portuguese government sometime around 1835. In 1964, the Indian
government converted the St. Francis of Assisi Church into a museum.
Ancient relics and old paintings are now displayed here.
The design and construction of the church is very intricate and much
attention has been given to the details. Though in size, it is much
smaller than Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the carvings
and decoration is as striking as in those churches. The church is
painted generously and the altars are carved beautifully. The interiors
of the church are decorated with depictions from the Bible whereas the
walls are carved with floral designs. The paintings in the church have a
very distinctive Indian feel. There is a statue of St. Michael right at
the entrance of the church. The congregation hall is heavily decorated
with carvings and one finds two large statues of Jesus Christ and St.
Francis of Assisi.