Se Cathedral Goa

About Se Cathedral Goa
Vital Information for Visitors

Se Cathedral, Velha Goa, Goa.

Open & Close Timing:

Open on all days
7:30 AM - 06 PM

Mass Timings:

Weekdays - 7:30 AM and 6:00 PM
Sunday – 7:15 AM, 10.00 AM and 4:00 PM

Entry Fees:



Approx 30 minutes


Easter, X’mas, New Year


Largest church of Portuguese colonial era

The Se Cathedral, located in Old Goa, is the largest church building in Goa, built by the Portuguese. It stands as a testament to the rich history and architectural brilliance of the region. Steeped in religious significance and adorned with intricate details, this grand cathedral is a prominent landmark that attracts pilgrims, history enthusiasts, and architecture admirers alike. The Se Cathedral, officially named Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina, stands proudly as the cathedral of the Latin Church Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, serving as the revered seat of the Patriarch of the East Indies. This architectural marvel contributes to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Churches and Convents of Goa, situated in the historic Old Goa, India.

History: The Se Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of St. Catherine, holds a pivotal place in the history of Goa. Construction of this magnificent edifice began in 1562, under the reign of the Portuguese Viceroy, Dom Afonso de Noronha. The primary purpose behind its construction was to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers of the Bahamani Kingdom, leading to the capture of the city of Goa in 1510. The cathedral was dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, a Christian martyr, symbolizing the triumph of the Portuguese over their adversaries. The construction continued for several decades, and the cathedral was consecrated in 1640. The Se Cathedral played a crucial role in the spread of Christianity in the region, becoming the seat of the Archdiocese of Goa.

Architecture: The Se Cathedral is a stunning example of Portuguese-Manueline architecture, with a fusion of Gothic and Tuscan styles. The exterior of the cathedral is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, showcasing the craftsmanship of the artisans of that era. The main facade features a combination of Corinthian, Doric, and Composite styles, creating a visually captivating ensemble. The Se Cathedral is an imposing structure, and its dimensions reflect the grandeur of its design. The cathedral has a length of 76 meters (250 feet) and a width of 55 meters (182 feet). The main altar reaches a height of 115 feet (35 meters), creating a sense of awe and reverence for visitors. The sheer scale of the cathedral emphasizes its significance as a religious and architectural marvel. The interior has an overwhelming baroque grandeur. There is a cross in the cathedral on which Christ is believed to have appeared in 1619.

The cathedral's interior is equally breathtaking, with a nave and aisles that lead to an ornate altar. The altars are dedicated to various saints, and the high altar is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. The interior is illuminated by a soft glow filtering through the large windows, adding to the spiritual ambiance. The layout of the interior follows a traditional cruciform design, contrasting with the rectangular appearance of the exterior. Corinthian architecture adorns the interior, and the central focus is the main altar dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. Alongside the main altar, there are eight chapels flanking the nave and six altars positioned at the transept. Pope Pius XII honored this shrine by bestowing upon it the Golden Rose, a significant golden ornament symbolizing reverence and affection. Remarkably, the ornament now rests on the tomb of St. Francis Xavier. Visitors marvel at six gilded panels, above main altar, illustrating the life of Saint Catherine. Within the shrine, there are fifteen communion tables dedicated to Our Lady of Three Needs, Our Lady of Hope, and Our Lady of Anguish. Additionally, the baptismal font, constructed in 1532, holds historical significance as it was used by St. Francis Xavier for baptizing converts. A must-see is the chapel of the Cross of Miracles, where, in 1919, a vision of Christ is believed to have appeared. The shrine offers a rich tapestry of religious and historical elements, providing visitors with a profound and spiritually enriching experience.

Of the five bells, the Se Cathedral is renowned for its colossal bell, known as the "Golden Bell" or "Bell of the Inquisition." Cast in 1651, this bell is one of the largest in Asia and has a rich history associated with the Inquisition period in Goa. The bell is intricately decorated with inscriptions and motifs, reflecting the artistic sensibilities of the time.

Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit the Se Cathedral in Goa is during the winter months, from November to February. During this period, the weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degrees Celsius (59 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). The cool and dry weather allows visitors to explore the cathedral and its surroundings comfortably. Additionally, the winter months coincide with various festivals and events in Goa, providing a vibrant cultural experience.

How to Reach: Reaching the Se Cathedral in Goa is convenient, given the state's well-developed transportation infrastructure. The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport, approximately 29 kilometers away from Se Cathedral. The nearest railway station is Karmali Railway Station, around 10 kilometers from Old Goa. Trains from major cities in India connect to Karmali. From the airport or railway station, visitors can hire taxis or use other transportation services to reach the Se Cathedral. Old Goa where Se Cathedral is located is well-connected by road, and buses, taxis, and rental cars are available for travel. Panaji, the capital of Goa, is a major hub for bus services, and visitors can easily find transportation to Old Goa. Once in Old Goa, local transportation options include taxis, auto-rickshaws, and rental bikes or scooters. These modes of transportation provide flexibility for exploring the cathedral and the surrounding historical sites at one's own pace.

The Se Cathedral in Goa stands as a captivating blend of history, faith, and architectural brilliance. Its towering presence in Old Goa narrates tales of conquest, religious devotion, and the enduring spirit of the people. Visitors to the Se Cathedral are not only treated to a visual spectacle of intricate carvings and monumental dimensions but also immerse themselves in the rich cultural and religious heritage of Goa. As a symbol of triumph and piety, the Se Cathedral continues to inspire awe and reverence, inviting travelers to explore the magnificence of this iconic landmark.

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