Monday, May 26, 2014

Ruins of St. Augustine Church, Old Goa - Part II

Here is an account of the downfall of this magnificent church.....
The hoarding at the complex

The church had a sprawling vault (roof) which collapsed between 1842 and 1846. A ban was imposed by the Portuguese government against the Augustines. Thereafter the church and the convent were deserted. 
Beautiful ceramic work near the altar

A closer look
The chance discovery of the burial assumes a greater significance in the light of the fact that during the last quarter of 1998, a Georgian team visited Goa in order to search for and locate the mortal remains of the Georgian Queen,St. Catevan. The Queen, who died a martyr in 1624, was buried in Goa, presumably in the St. Augustine Church complex.
Ketevan the Martyr (1560 – September 13, 1624) was a queen of Kakheti, a kingdom in eastern Georgia. She was killed for refusing to give up the Christain faith and convert to Islam.

The account of Ketevan's martyrdom related by the Augustinians missioners were listed by her son, Teimuraz, in his poem The Book and Passion of Queen Ketevan. (Reference: wikipedia)
The noble queen and martyr
A team of experts from Hyderabad based, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) along with the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and Estonian BioCentre have confirmed that a relic excavated from this Goan church was that of Queen Ketevan of Georgia.
Some more ceramic inlay
Altar of St. Nicholas
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has undertaken excavation as well restoration work of this monument which has being going on for some years now. However, a lot more needs to be done and with more enthusiasm to restore the past glory of this magnificent church.
The monument with historical significance - as listed by ASI
In his blog,, Jose FP Lourenco, presented an old picture of this church and quoted as follows "I've saved the best photograph for last. I found this in my late uncle's chest while cleaning the musty old attic. It's from a 'Souvenir da Velha Cidade de Goa' by the venerable photographers Souza & Paul. The back cover of this photograph collection reads 'Unico Representante na India Portuguesa das makinas fotograficas Rolleiflex e Rolleicord'!
The outer bygone days...
He readily gave me permission to use this rare photograph in my blog post. Thanks for preserving such a masterpiece and for allowing me to reproduce this photo on my blog, Jose!


Travel Goa Tour Packages said...

St. Augustine's Tower is a spectacular monument in Goa . It is one of the heritage place in Goa . And always attracts tourists .

Indian Honeymoon Packages said...

St. Augustine's Tower is one of the prominent monuments in Goa city.