Menu Close

St Augustine Church in Goa

Discovering St Augustine Church in Goa: A Historical, Architectural Treasure

Discover St. Augustine Church in Goa: location, rich history, stunning architecture, and directions on how to reach this historic site.

St Augustine Church Goa

Nestled in the heart of Goa, How to reach St Augustine Church stands as a testament to the rich history, architecture and location brilliance of the region. This iconic structure, now in ruins, draws countless visitors each year, eager to explore its storied past and marvel at its enduring grandeur.

St Augustine Church Location

The St. Augustine Church location is in Old Goa, also known as Velha Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Old Goa was once the bustling epicenter of Portuguese India, and today it remains a significant cultural and historical hub. The church is situated on the Holy Hill, providing visitors with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The coordinates for St. Augustine Church are approximately 15.5019° N latitude and 73.9125° E longitude, placing it within easy reach of other major attractions such as the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Sé Cathedral.

St Augustine History

The history of St Augustine Church is both fascinating and poignant. Built in 1602 by Augustinian friars who arrived in Goa in 1572, the church was once part of a larger monastic complex that included a convent and other ecclesiastical buildings. These friars were part of the broader wave of Catholic missionaries who came to India to spread Christianity and build impressive structures to glorify their faith.

St. Augustine Church quickly became one of the most important religious sites in Goa, known for its grandeur and architectural beauty. However, the church’s fortunes changed over the centuries due to neglect, the harsh tropical climate, and political shifts. By the mid-19th century, the church was abandoned, and its roof collapsed in 1842. Despite its ruinous state, the remnants of St. Augustine Church continue to captivate visitors, serving as a poignant reminder of the past and the relentless passage of time.

St Augustine Architecture

The architecture of St Augustine Church is a stunning example of Baroque design, characterized by dramatic use of space, light, and intricate details. The church was constructed using laterite stone, a material readily available in Goa. This choice of material not only contributed to the church’s robust structure but also gave it a distinct reddish hue that still catches the eye today.

One of the most striking features of the church was its towering façade, which originally included a grand bell tower standing at 46 meters. This tower, which still partially stands, was once a prominent navigational aid for ships approaching Goa’s harbor. The façade was adorned with elaborate carvings and statues, reflecting the artistic and architectural excellence of the period.

How to Reach St Augustine Church

Reaching St Augustine Church is relatively straightforward, thanks to its convenient location and well-developed transport links in Goa. Here are the best ways to get there:

By Car

For those who prefer to travel by car, renting a vehicle or hiring a taxi from major cities in Goa is a practical option. The drive from Panaji, the state capital, takes about 30 minutes. There is ample parking available near the church ruins, making it a hassle-free journey for visitors.

By Bus

Several bus services run regularly from Panaji to Old Goa, offering an economical and efficient way to reach the church. The bus ride takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes, and the buses drop passengers close to the church site.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Karmali, which is just 10 minutes away by car or taxi from St. Augustine Church. Trains from major Indian cities, including Mumbai and Bangalore, stop at this station, making it a convenient option for those traveling by rail.

By Air

For international and domestic travelers, the nearest airport is Dabolim Airport, located about 25 kilometers from Old Goa. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or rent a car to reach St. Augustine Church. The drive from the airport to the church takes roughly 45 minutes.

Exploring the Surroundings

Old Goa is a treasure trove of historical and cultural landmarks. After visiting St Augustine Church, there are several other notable sites to explore:

Basilica of Bom Jesus

This basilica is one of the most famous churches in Goa and houses the relics of St. Francis Xavier. It is renowned for its Baroque architecture and spiritual significance.

Sé Cathedral

The Sé Cathedral, dedicated to St. Catherine, is the largest church in Asia. It is known for its stunning architecture, featuring a mix of Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior styles.

Church of St Cajetan

Modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Church of St. Cajetan is another architectural marvel in Old Goa. Its ornate façade and beautifully decorated interior are a testament to the artistic brilliance of the time.

Archaeological Museum

For those interested in delving deeper into Goa’s history, the Archaeological Museum in Old Goa offers a comprehensive collection of artifacts, including portraits, sculptures, and religious relics from the Portuguese era.

Conclusion

The St. Augustine Church in Goa is more than just a historical site; it is a symbol of the rich cultural heritage and architectural brilliance of the region. Its majestic ruins, coupled with the stories they hold, continue to inspire awe and reverence among visitors. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or a curious traveler, a visit to St. Augustine Church offers a profound connection to the past and an appreciation for the enduring legacy of human creativity and faith.