Chapel of St. Catherine



Church of St. Francis of Assisi

Further to the west of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi is the Chapel of St. Catherine. Built of laterite blocks it has a tower on either side of the facade.

The chapel in the interior, having only one altar, is plain. The chapel was rebuilt in 1952 on the remains of an earlier structure, built in 1510 by Afonso de Albuquerque to commemorate his entry into the city on St. Catherine’s Day.

The earlier chapel was enlarged in 1550 by Governor George Cabral, who put up an inscribed slab, which when translated, reads as follows: ‘Here in this place was the doorway through which Governor Afonso de Albuquerque entered and took this city from the Mohammadans on the day of St. Catherine in the year 1510 in whose honour and memory the Governor, George Cabral, ordered this chapel to be built in the year 1550 at the expenses of His Highness.’ Thus, the chapel was built on the spot where stood the gates of this city- under the Muslim rule.

This chapel was raised to the state of cathedral by a Bull issued in 1534 by Pope Paul III and it remained so till the new cathedral was constructed.

ASI’s Mini Circle, Goa, conducted conservation work in the Chapel of St. Catherine. The area surrounding it, towards the south, was uneven and had a number of dumps. The entire area was leveled and retaining walls were constructed for leveling the soil at different levels. Flights of steps were also provided at each level and it was proposed to landscape the area with lawns.

The next season of conservation involved leveling the uneven surface in front and around the chapel and landscaping the area by developing a lawn. Being located at a lower level, the chapel was provided with drainage along with a proper slope and gutters. A laterite pathway was provided from the entrance gate to the chapel.

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