Location: Located en route Old Goa to Ponda
Highlights: Ruins of an old church maintained beautifully
How to Reach: One can hire local transport like taxi, auto or
even a bus from anywhere in Goa and reach this church.
The St. Paul Church is a ruined church that is a popular tourist
attraction in Goa. It is located on the road that one takes from Old Goa
to reach Ponda. One can always hire local transport to reach this lovely
church. The church of St. Paul in Goa was set up because of the efforts
of two priests namely Diogo de Borba and Miguel Vaz. These two priests
had established Santa Fe confraternity in India. The construction of the
church was finished on 25th January, 1543, which is the day of Feast of
Conversion of St. Paul.
The St. Paul church was a very famous educational institution in India
and was considered among the leading educational institutions here. Not
only was primary education imparted here, but one could earn a degree in
higher education in subjects like Music, Latin, Arts and Sciences.
Higher education included a Master's as well as the Doctorate degree.
Some years later the old building was demolished and two separate
buildings were constructed that were connected by a common passage.
There was a big library, a hospital as well as a house for those who
were converted recently.
The St. Paul church was also credited to have set up the first printing
press in Asia. The first printed publications were circulated from this
place only. Around the year 1560, this building was pulled down and the
foundation was laid for a bigger church. However, there was stringent
opposition from Augustinians and Nuns of Santa Monica. In fact, the
building was set afire at least four times by some enemies of Jesuits
between 1591 and 1675. The church also had mortal remains of St. Francis
Xavier that were preserved in a silver casket, which was later shifted
to Basilica of Bom Jesus. In the year 1829, the government decided to
demolish it properly since it was already in a dilapidated state. The
archway and some part of the front entrance still remains on the road
that leads to Ponda from Old Goa.