Built in the year 1572 by 12 Augustinians, members of a Catholic religious order named after the legendary Christian philosopher Augustine of Hippo, the church and monastery of St Augustine was completed in 1602. The church even included a convent beside it. However, the entire complex was deserted after the Portuguese government banned the Augustinians. Today, what is left of the massive church and convent complex lies in Old Goa and is part of the Churches and Convents of Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It lies around 27 km from Vasco Da Gama railway station and 8 km from Panjim Kadamba bus stand. ALSO READ: 10 best churches of Goa that you must visit on your next trip!
While most of the church and convent structure has fallen to the ravages of time, you can still find ruins that hint at the grandeur of the complex. You can find the remnants of a massive 46 m tall bell tower standing, even from a good distance. In fact, it is probably the first thing that you see as you approach the ruins. You can find the four-storey arched belfry tower, made of laterite and one of four similar towers that once stood around the St Augustine church. The church itself had four alters and eight chapels, all adorned immaculately at the time. The ruins of these alters and towers can still be seen, along with the several cells of the convent. CHECK OUT: 7 spectacularly beautiful forts of Goa!
The bell from the church was first placed at the famous Fort Aguada light house, staying there from 1841 to 1871. It was then shifted to the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, in Panaji. To this day, the bell still tolls like it did all those centuries ago. Also called the Nossa Senhora da Graca Church, the ruins of this once great church are now a popular tourist spot and a spectacular reminder of Goa’s early Christian heritage.
BEST TIME TO VISIT GOA
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