Church of Our Lady of the Rosary


Not far to the west of the Basilica of Born Jesus is the Holy Hill at the extremity of which is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. Built of laterite and plastered with lime mortar, it has a two-storeyed portico. The portico as well as the facade of the church, have rounded towers on either side with the cross on top. The roof of the church is tiled, supported by wooden rafters.

There are two chapels and three altars. The main altar is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. The church, with windows near the roof and with rounded towers giving an impression of a fortress church, is Manuline in style though Gothic influence can be seen in the rib-vault at the portico.

To the right of the main altar is a marble cenotaph commemorating Dona Catarina whose marriage with Viceroy Garcia De Sa was performed by St. Francis Xavier. The cenotaph slightly projecting from the wall is artistically decorated with carved miniature pillars and inscriptions in Portuguese and has a triangular pediment crowned by a shell moulding. The foliage and other decorations emanating from a vase closely resemble those on the tombs of Gujarat, thus suggesting the influence of a regional art style.

This votive chapel was built in fulfilment of a vow taken by Afonso de Albuquerque while he was watching the battle between his forces and those of the Bijapur Sultan from the same spot on which the church stands. His vow, however, could be fulfilled only after his death, since this church was built in 1544-49.

ASI’s Mini Circle also conducted conservation work in the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. The decayed wooden beams and rafters and broken tiles of the roof were replaced.

The top portion of the roof of the southern side altar was water tightened and repaired. The interior of the church was white-washed, and the side walls were deplastered and replastered. The height of the roof was raised to have a proper roof slope. The laterite steps of the bell tower, which were missing were repaired.

An approach road has been laid from the main gate to the entrance of the church.


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