Se Cathedral is one of the most ancient and celebrated religious buildings
of Goa. It is said to be the largest church in Asia. The Se Cathedral is
dedicated to St. Catherine, as it was on her feast day, 25th November 1510
that Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa. Engineers Julio Simago and
Ambrosio Argueiro designed Se Cathedral for the Dominicans, when Viceroy
Redondo was instructed by the Portuguese government to commission a
grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese.
Subsequently The Se Cathedral came in to being.
The Church - A Bird's Eye View
The architecture of the Se Cathedral is typically Portuguese in style with
a Tuscan peripheral and Corinthian core. The church is approximately 250 ft
in length and 181 ft in breath. The frontispiece stands at a height of 115
ft. Originally, there were two towers, on either side of the facade, but the
one on the southern side plummeted in 1776. The exterior of the Cathedral is
noteworthy for its plain style, which is typical of the Tuscan institution.
The fallen bell tower was never rebuilt and has given the building an
exceptionally charming look.
The Se Cathedral is famous for its five massive bells. The existing tower
houses a famous bell, 'Golden Bell' which is one of the largest in Goa. On
account of its melodic tone, it has been commemorated in a Portuguese poem.
The main altar is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. Old paintings on
either sides of the altar portray scenes from her life and martyrdom.
The Cathedral has been built on a raised plinth of laterite, covered over
with lime plaster. There is a long nave, two aisles and a transept. A bell
tower is located to the southern side of the façade. The nave is
barrel-vaulted while the crossing is rib-vaulted. Massive pillars support
the vault in the nave and the choir, while the chapels on either side are
separated by internal defenses. The building is oblong on plan but has a
cruciform layout in the interior.
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.
- 8 sq . km
- 250 ft.
Best Season To Visit
- December to February
- Buses, Auto rickshaws etc.
Goa, located in India, is home to an equable climate which is neither too
hot nor too cold but humidity and sun are the other characteristics of Goa.
The possibilities for accommodation in Goa are virtually limitless,
stretching all the way from snazzy resorts and upmarket hotels to affordable
guest houses, cottages and local inns. Budget options include dormitories
and hostels, or home stays, which can be a great way to see Goa up close.
The only thing to keep in mind is that Goas immense popularity makes
accommodation scarce during the peak season; book well in advance.
There are restaurants and wayside cafes around Old Goa that offer a variety
of cuisine and are generally budget friendly.
Goa, thanks to its popularity as a tourist destination, has plenty of
connections to the rest of India. The domestic airport at Dabolim (30 km
from Panaji) has frequent flights from Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and
Kochi, besides chartered flights from overseas. The two railway stations- at
Vasco da Gama and Margao- also have a number of trains arriving at Goa from
the rest of the country. In addition to that, there are bus networks which
connect the state to other cities and towns in Western and Southern India.