Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Old Goa


The Church of St. Francis of Assisi stands contiguous to the Se Cathedral but is less impressive in appearance. The Church and the nearby Convent was built by eight members of the Franciscan friars, a religious order within the Catholic Church which seeks to live the Gospel in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. The chapel they built was subsequently modified to a church in 1521 and consecrated to the Holy Spirit.

In 1661 the original structure of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi was demolished and the present church was built retaining the exquisitely carved old gate made of black stone. Consequent to the closure of the Convent by the Portuguese government in 1835, it remained in a state of dilapidation for a long time. Since 1964 it houses the Archaeological Museum set up by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The exterior of the St Francis of Assisi church is a manifestation of Tuscan architecture while the interior blends the mosaic-Corinthian style. Scenes from the bible are portrayed in the interior while the walls are adorned with frescoes showing intricate floral designs. The alcove of the fa├žade holds the statue of St Michael and a wooden statue of St Francis Assisi adorns the pedestal in one of its chapel............

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