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St.Augustine church and tower
Category : Old Goa Churches
Location  : Old Goa
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The tower and the church itself, were built in 1602 by the Augustinian friars who arrived in Goa in 1587. With the religious suppression in 1835, the Augustinians deserted the church and the convent. The latter was used for some time by the charitable institution of the Misericordia. The buildings fell into neglect resulting in the collapse of the vault on 8 September 1842. 

 The Government appropriated the property, selling the materials the following year. The facade and half of the tower fell in 1931 and some more parts of it collapsed in 1938. 

ASI's Mini Circle conducted conservation work in the St. Augustine Church complex. The crevices found in the exposed walls, pillars and pilasters were consolidated. Water-tightening was also carried out on the exposed walls of the adjacent convent.

  During the conservation work carried out by ASI's Mini Circle, on one of the side altars of the St. Augustine Church complex, a burial chamber was discovered below the floor in front of the altar. The chamber had a flight of five steps and was built of laterite blocks. It was also plastered in lime-mortar and had a vaulted roof. Inside the chamber, was a grave pit, which contained bones in three places. The pit was also found to be lime-plastered.

The chance discovery of the burial assumes a greater significance in the light of the fact that during the last quarter of 1998, a Georgian team visited Goa in order to search for and locate the mortal remains of the Georgian Queen,
St. Catevan. The Queen, who died a martyr in 1624, was buried in Goa, presumably in the St. Augustine Church complex. According to the description given in the records, the mortal remains were supposed to have been buried either above the second window near the main altar or between the side chapels on the south-west side in the transept. However, the search did not yield any mortal remains. A detailed study of the present discovery of the grave along with the mortal remains is likely to throw more light on this matter.







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