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Home > Churches > India > Goa > Se Cathedral
Se Cathedral

Se Cathedral is also known as Se Cathedral de Santa Catarina. Located in the old Goa it is the largest church of India and is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria. The church has its fame being the most celebrated religious buildings of Goa and stands as one of the largest churches of Asia. The church commemorates the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslims under alfonso de albo querque. The church was also constructed to symbolize the power of the portugese who were powerful along the seas of Atlantic to Pacific. The church is built bigger than any of the churches in Portugal itself. The church is denominated as roman catholic, founded in 1619, and was consecrated in 1640.

Religious Importance

The church is considered as one of the holiest churches in Goa. Thousands of people offer their prayers in the church, being the largest church it holds more number of people thus people from varied places gathers here occasionally. The church is dedicated to St Catherene of Alexandria.

Mythological Importance

The largest bell of Goa known as the "Golden Bell" is one of the best in the world and is situated in the central tower house. Dedicated to Catherine Alexandria are the main attar and several paintings hang along the sides of the attar. A cross is said to have been appeared in the same direction towards the chapel of the corps of miracle. This incident happened to be the most holy god's grace to the cathedral therefore enhancing the importance of the church.

Architectural Importance

Built in the Portuguese Manueline style, the church has Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior. The church is 76 meters long, 55 meters broad and 35 meters high. The church was built in 1562 during the period of (1557-1578) Kingdom Sebateao, and completed in 1619. It was built on a raised plinth of laterite, covered with lime plaster. The main building contains a long nave (barrel vaulted) followed by two aiscles and a transept (rib vaulted), towards the southern side we find a bell tower. The vault in the nave and choir is supported by massive pillars while the internal defenses separate the chapel on either side. The church was maintained by the royal treasury, though consecrated in 1640 the main altars were not completed till 1652. Facing towards east the church lies to the west of the great square called Terreiro de Sabaio. Initially there were two towers but in 1776 one of them collapsed. Built in the Tuscan tradition the exterior of the cathedral shows the beauty of plainness style. The building exhibits unique look due to the collapsed bell tower. The cathedral bears a huge bell known as the "golden bell" for its rich tone which is also inscribed in a Portuguese poem. The main hall bears the main altar and paintings, the altar is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria and the paintings show her life and martyrdom. There are corianthium columns on plinth that support the pediment which contains the Latin inscription. Of the four chapels on the either side of the nave two are perforated wooden screens across the entrance which contains delicate filigree carvings. One of these screened chapels one sacrament is very well decorated as compared to the sober look of the cathedral's interior.

Festivals

The most important festival celebrated in the Se cathedral is St Catherine's day on this day the unmarried girls do pray for husband and those girls are honored who reached 25 but still are not married. Followed by a grand feast this festival ends with prayer around midnight.

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