The St. Cajetan Church is undisputedly the most beautiful looking church Goa has ever housed. One can’t help but revive memories of other churches visited in European countries owing to its Corinthian and Goth inspired architecture. Everything from its pristine white appearance to the two rectangular towers on either side above the façade reminds us of its European architectural origins. St. Cajetan Church has essentially been created on the basis of St. Peter Church in Italy and has been constructed using laterite blocks. For the well-traveled tourist or pilgrim, a very familiar connection can be made between the city of St. Petersburg in Russia and its churches including the Fortress of Paul and Peter and the St. Cajetan Church in Goa owing to their strikingly similar architectural principles.
The interior of the church is as massive as the exterior makes it out to be. Inspired by Corinthian and Baroque architecture there are multiple altars on the left and right with the aisle divided by huge pillars. To the left, the altars are dedicated to the Holy family of Our Lade of Piety and St. Clare. To the right you see the altars dedicated to St. Cajetan, St. John and St. Agnes, the one dedicated to St. Cajetan being the largest with a massive, well decorated wooden podium. The Italian paintings in the altars depict the life and time of Saint Cajetan. One can’t help but marvel at the huge dome, both from the outside and the inside of the church.
The Well within the Church
Within the premises of a church, there exists a well which has lead historians and archeologists to point at the possible existence of an ancient Hindu temple which was lost during Portuguese occupation. An opposing group of historians believe that the well was intentionally created to offer structural stability. More controversy is added to the equation with the existence of carvings of Hindu deities on the Basalt doorway. This is the only remaining part of what once used to be a palace of Emperor Adil Shah.
How to get there?
The St. Cajetan Church is located in Old Goa around 10 kilometers from the capital city of Goa in the midst of other prominent churches like the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the ruins of St. Augustine. Its best to plan a day out at all these churches since the distance one has to travel from the city or from North Goa is quite a lot. Cab services to old Goa are available from all over including the cities of Vasco Da Gama and Margao. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to hire a two wheeler and see all the these marvelous architectural creations in your own time and pace.