St. Augustine Tower, Old Goa

St. Augustine Tower, Old Goa

This forty six meter high colossal four storied arched belfry tower built of laterite, formed part of the facade of the church of St. Augustine facing east. The ruins of eight chapels, four altars and extensive convent with numerous cells may be seen. This tower and church was build in 1602 by the St. Augustinian Friars.

The Friars of Augustinian Order arrivd in goa in 1572 and built a small convent on holy hill and later it was enlarged. The convent building has three storey provided with two large stone staircases leading to th efloors above. On entering the convent there were two cloisters, corridors, pillars, Galleries, Halls having numerous rooms, A refacory(dinning hall), Guest house and Infirmary ( First Aid) which were very spacious. It also had vast domitories and numerous cells and other structures which are now in ruins.

In 1835 this complex was abandoned due to the expulsion of the religious orders from Goa and the Portuguese Government ordered its demolition. In 1846 the main vault of the Church collapsed and the convent rapidly decayed. The valuable articles belonging to the religious complex were either sold or lost, being nowadays dispersed over many churches in Goa. The bell from the tower was initially taken to Fort aguada and later in 1871 was shifted to the Church of Our lady of immaculate Conception church in Panjim.

The church had a sprawling vault(roof) which collapsed between 1842 and 1846. It is said that the vault collapsed twice during construction and on the third attempt the architect to test its stability ordered a heavy cannon to be fired at the building with his only son standing inside. Fortunately the vault withstood the shock to be brought down due to the ravages of time. As per the records the convent and the church dedicated to Our lady of Grace was occupied by the Augustinian order till 1835. it was then abandoned as a result of an official decree and the Portuguese Government ordered its demolition.

As a result of partial demolition, weathering and natural decay, the facade of the church including the 46 meters tall tower again fell in 1938. What remains of the five storey tall tower is being conserved against all odds.

The archaeological survey of India has been carrying out scientific clearance of the ruins since 1998 and simultaneous conservation of the site.

St. Augustine tower, old goa

Some of the wall and floor tiles that were used for the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

One of the stone carved pillars at the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

The walls and pillars of the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

Tomb stones on the floor of the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

Walls of the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

Remains of the St. Agustine Tower

St. Augustine tower, old goa

The ruins of the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

The ruins of the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

The ruins of the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

The ruins of the St. Augustine Church

St. Augustine tower, old goa

The ruins of the St. Augustine Tower

 

 

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