The spectacular and beautiful Church of St. Cajetan, lies about half a kilometer away to the northeast of the Se Cathedral. This church of St. Cajetan was said to have modeled the original design of the Basilica of St.Peter in Rome. The St. Cajetan Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Goa. The Church was initially dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence and is commonly known as the Church of St. Cajetan. St. Cajetan was a contemporary of St. Francis Xavier and the founder of the Order of monks called the Theatines.
Structure of Church of St. Cajetan
The Church of St. Cajetan is built in an architecturally Corinthian style, both externally and internally while the gilded altars with rich carvings are in rich Baroque style. The Church building itself is built of laterite blocks which are lime plastered. This church was built by Italian Monks of the Order of Theatines in 1665. The church exhibits a crown with a huge hemispherical dome. The design is said to be the pattern of the Roman Basilica of St. Peter.
The façade of this mighty church exhibits superb examples of Corinthian architecture. Four statues of St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John the Evangelist and St. Matthew are hidden within its walls. It also has the words, “Domus mea, domus orations” which means, “My House is a House of Prayer” etched boldly across the portal of the church.
The interior of the Church of St. Cajetan , as mentioned above, is also that of Corinthian architecture. It also displays Baroque, Rococo, and Goan influences in the interior design of the church. There are eight columns that divide the church in the centre with six lateral chapels. The main altar is dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence. There are also six more altars, three on each side of the main one.
As you exit this well designed baroque structure you will see on the right side the convent of St. Cajetan. This convent houses the Pastoral Institute with a nicely-maintained green landscape. Just a few steps further and behind that landscaped garden are the ruins of Adil Shah’s palace. What remains is the Arch of what would have been the gate or entrance to the Islamic ruler’s palace that was demolished to make way for the Church of St. Cajetan.
Places to visit near Church of St. Cajetan
If you want to experience unique historical and architectural sites, I would highly recommend you visit Old Goa, as it is the best place to truly get to know the background of where Goa has grown from. Some of the other major attractions in Old Goa include;
- Basilica of Bom Jesus Church
- St. Augustine Church
- Se Cathedral Church Old Goa
- Church of St. Francis of Assisi
- The Chapel of St. Catherine
- Museum of Christian Art
- Archaeological Museum of Old Goa
How to reach Old Goa
The fastest route to Old Goa is by getting off at the Karmali Railway Station, which is 3km away from the main area of Old Goa.
Panaji (Capital of Goa) is also very close by and is 9km away. You can reach Old Goa from Panaji by bus.
The Dabolim Airport in Goa is 30 km away from Old Goa, and can be reached by bus or by Taxi in about an hour. Getting to Old Goa from the airport may result in you having to get down at Panaji, and then from Panaji catch another bus to Old Goa.
Old Goa is also pretty close to the other tourist beach areas in Goa, like Calangute and Candolim, which is 20km away
Old Goa is a place where families and their children can enjoy the feeling of what it was like to be a part of the Indo-Portuguese period. On your visit to Old Goa, you won’t just be exposed to one beautiful site. However, you will find several incredible and breathtaking masterpieces all around Old Goa.
We hope you found the information provided above useful, and we do expect to see you in Goa soon!
Article written by Mr. Taariq Da Cunha