Goa Tourism Development Corporation
A Government of Goa Undertaking
st-francis-assisi st-francis-assisi

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

Journeying west from the Se Cathedral, one comes upon the Old Palace of the Archbishop, which serves as a conduit from the cathedral to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.

Thanks in part to its renovation in 1665, this graceful building displays a charming mix of architectural styles and intricately carved artwork. The adjoining convent has long since been converted into the Archaeological Museum and is worth a visit in its own right. No tour of Old Goa could be complete without a visit to this twofold attraction.

Claim to Fame

The blending of Portuguese-Manueline style portal from the older structure into the later Tuscan style building, to produce a unique specimen of architecture. The adjoining convent houses the Museum of Archaeological History.

The Museum is open 7 days a week and its timings are as follows:
9.00am – 12.30 and 3.00pm to 6.30
The Church is open 6 days a week and the Timings are as follows
Mon to Sat – 7.30am to 6.30pm

Must View List

  • Statue of Our lady of Miracles in the niche in the façade, brought over from Sri Lanka
  • Octagonal towers
  • Manueline architecture of the portal    Read more +
  • Paintings on the interior walls depicting scenes from the Bible
  • Statues of St. Francis of Assisi and Jesus on the altar
  • Baroque and Corinthian carvings on the altar itself
  • Wood Paintings depicting the life of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Frescoes with floral decorations

History, Construction and Architecture

The original shrine, constructed by the Fransican monks in 1521 and subsequently enlarged, was showing signs of decay, so a new church was constructed and dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Built in 1665, it retained the portal of the old structure which was in the Portuguese–Manueline style. It is a unique architectural specimen, of this style in the country.

The façade of the church is built in the Tuscan style of architecture with only the portal being Manueline since it is a relic from the older structure. The façade is also distinctive in that it is flanked by octagonal towers.     Read more +

Interior and Art

In contrast to the simple outer façade the interiors of the church are unabashedly and lavishly decorated in the Baroque style using Corinthian influences. The highlight is the main altar, which has fine examples of this kind of work.

The altar is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and has above it a huge statue of the saint, and another of Jesus. These statues display excellent features and attention to detail. Flanking the altar are superb paintings on wood depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi and the history of the Seraphic Order.    Read more +

Convent and Museum of Archaeological History

The Convent was built by the Franciscan friars around 1527 and later expanded. Today it houses the museum, established by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1964. Valuable sculptures and icons of pre-Portuguese era and portraits of Viceroys and Governor- Generals are displayed here.

This westward facing church has watched patiently over the faithful and seen the sun set on the Portuguese reign in India. The convent having been at first the simple living quarters of the Franciscan monks, then a convent and now a museum, is a timeless place, well worth a visit.