June 25, 2014

1114 INDIA (Goa) - Churches and Convents of Goa (UNESCO WHS)

1114 Goa - The Tower of the Church of St. Augustine

Situated at 10km east of Panjim, Old Goa is a historical city,  founded in the 15th century on the banks of the Mandovi river by the rulers of the Bijapur Sultanate, to replace Govapuri, used as a port by the Kadamba and Vijayanagar kings. It served as capital of Portuguese India from the 16th century until its abandonment in the 18th century due to a plague. It is said to have once been a city of nearly 200,000 where from the Portuguese traded across continents. As center of Christianisation in the East, the city was evangelised by all religious orders, since all of them had their headquarters there.

Old Goa contains churches affiliated to various congregations, including the Se Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Goa), the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of S. Caetano, and notably, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the relics of Saint Francis Xavier. The churches and convents of Goa illustrate the evangelization of Asia, and they were influential in spreading forms of Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art in all the countries of Asia where missions were established. You can see here a large gallery with wonderful pictures of Old Goa.  

The Tower of the Church of St. Augustine, built between 1597 and 1602, is recognized as a highly praised landmark in Goa. This is a 46m high tower that used to serve as a belfry and thereby it formed a major part of the facade of this religious site. Continued neglect turned the church into a ruined structure around 1842. Though the church was almost destroyed, the facade remained intact. In 1871, the huge bell of the tower was transferred to the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Panjim. Half of the tower collapsed in 1931.

About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Rāman, is part of the definitive set Builders of Modern India, about which I wrote here.

The second stamps is part of the series Spices of India, issued on April 29, 2009, consisting of 5 stamps with same face value (5 INR):
Coriander, Chilly, Turmeric
Cinnamon - it's on the postacard
Black pepper

Churches and Convents of Goa - UNESCO official website
Old Goa - Wikipedia
Saint Agustine's Tower - Traveller Goa

Sender: Suprita Chatterjee (direct swap)
Sent from Kolkata (West Bengal / India), on 02.05.2014

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