Dedicated to St Catherine, the 16th century celebrated structure of Se Cathedral is among the most imposing churches in Goa. Due to its sheer scale and stunning design, it is a treat for architecture and photography enthusiasts. Commissioned by Portuguese viceroy, Redondo, the edifice of the church is, in fact, bigger than any of the churches in Portugal as he wanted it to be “a grandiose church worthy of wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific.”

It was during the reign of king, Dom Sebastiao, that the construction of the church took off and was completed in 1619. Built for the Dominicans, the cathedral was paid for by the Royal Treasury out of the proceeds of the sale of the crown’s property. Built in the Portuguese-Gothic style with a Corinthian interior and Tuscan exterior, the church is one of the oldest of its kind in the state and is believed to be the largest of its kind in Asia. The church’s bell, the largest of its kind in Goa, is popularly called the Golden Bell. Initially, there were two towers on either side of the church’s façade, however, the one on the southern side collapsed in 1776. It was never rebuilt and gives a vintage look to the historic church. The main altar in the church is dedicated to St Alexandria with both its sides depicting scenes from her life. To the left of the main entrance of the church are four chapels that are dedicated to Our Lady of Virtues, St Sebastian, the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Life. A highlight of the cathedral is the Chapel of the Cross of Miracles. The church measures 250 ft in length and 181 ft in breadth. A vision of Jesus Christ is believed to have appeared on the Cross housed therein in 1919.

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