Ruins of the Church of St. Augustine
- 28 Dec 2018
- 2 min read
The church was built between 1597 and 1602, and is dedicated to Our Lady of Grace by the Order of Saint Augustine.
- The church was abandoned in 1830s due to the repressive policies of the Portuguese government, which resulted in the eviction of many religious orders from Goa.
- In 1842, the main vault of the church collapsed after which the entire structure collapsed in stages.
- In 1931, the facade and half the tower fell down, followed by more sections leaving only half the tower that is seen today.
- This remnant, the renowned St. Augustine's tower is all that remains of what was once one of the largest buildings in Goa -The Augustinian Monastery.
- In 1986, UNESCO declared the ruins to be a World Heritage Site which is also the site of the archaeological discovery of the remains of Queen Ketevan.
- In the late 1980s, archaeologists from the Soviet Union and Georgia began efforts to trace the relics of Ketevan the Martyr, a Georgian queen who had delivered herself as a hostage to Shah Abbas I and was martyred for refusing to deny her faith whose relics were believed to be in Goa.
- Originally comprising of four towers built of laterite and a massive vault, the dimensions of the edifice resembles the great imperial cathedrals of the Renaissance era.
- The whole structure being supported by soaring pillars, the vestiges of which remain visible today. The grey basalt columns provide a lovely contrast to the red laterite.
- The altar of the church has beautiful multicoloured Italian tiles and remnants of red and blue paintings.
- The tower's huge bell was moved in 1871 to the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panjim.