Situated in Old Goa, the church of Saint Augustine compels your imagination to reimagine the past and its story. Built in 1602, this church, now although in ruins, is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa.
This church used to have four towers out of which only one remains in the present times known as the Saint Augustine Tower. Even today, a great number of tourists visit this place just to witness the raw and ruined charm that this place emanates.
Since it was built, the church was considered to be one of the three great Augustinian churches along with El Escorial and the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora.
History of Saint Augustine Church
It is said that this church was abandoned in 1835 after the Portuguese government started implementing its repressive policies. Due to this rising neglect and lack of care from the authorities, soon the body of the church gave up and collapsed in 1842.
Fearing that the building might collapse further, the bell of the church was removed in 1871 and was moved to the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church located in Panjim.
Without any proper maintenance or care, the walls of the church fell and by 1938 most of the church’s building was destroyed. It is interesting to know that the main centre of attraction of the church was the Saint Augustine Tower meant to serve as the belfry of the church. Now, in present times, everything that could be salvaged from this abandoned church has been taken care of and moved to other safe places.
Major Attractions in and Around Saint Augustine Tower
1. Fontainhas. This is basically a small Latin establishment situated in Panjim. For anyone who likes to explore the local culture of Goa, this is the place to visit. The colourful houses and adorable streets will simply win your heart away. For couples as well, this is a great place to travel.
2. Basilica of Bom Jesus. Built in the 16th century, Basilica of Bom Jesus comes across as one of the best tourist destinations in Goa. The architectural prominence of this church will make you want to come here again and again. Visiting here, you also discover and be in awe of the pillars and altar which is full of ornate inscriptions in Latin and Portuguese language.
3. Divar Island. This island is yet another interesting place to visit in Goa. Situated on the Mandovi River, this place is full of hustle and bustle. If you plan to visit Goa then after the church and tower, this spot should definitely be on your travel list.
How to Reach Saint Augustine Tower
To reach Old Goa, you will need to cover a total distance of about 1,888, 585, 2,152, 584 km from Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Check out the following details on how you can reach here by public transport.
By Air. Deboard at the Dabolim Airport (GOI) which is located 20-30 km away. The airport has good flight connectivity with other Indian cities. From the airport, book a taxi or some other means of public transportation available to reach here.
From Surat - Board Spicejet, IndiGo flights from Surat Airport. The airfares start from INR 8,000-9,000
From Chennai - Board Spicejet, IndiGo flights from Chennai Airport. The airfares start from INR 3,000-4,000
From Tirupati - Board Spicejet, Air India flights from Tirupati Airport. The airfares start from INR 6,000-7,000
By Train. The nearest railway station is the Karmali Railway Station (KRMI). It is well connected with other Indian cities. From the station, you can take a taxi or some other local means of transportation available.
By Road. If you are residing in nearby regions, then you can consider travelling via road networks as well. As the roadways are well-maintained, you won’t experience any hassle in your journey. For travelling, you can consider boarding state-run/private buses, hiring taxis or drive your own vehicle here.