Se Cathedral Church
Whenever we are in Old Goa, we make it a point to visit Se Cathedral church located there. It is one of the oldest and largest church in India dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria.
The Se Cathedral was built to commemorate the victory of Portuguese (under leadership of Afonso de Albuquerque) over a Muslim army, leading to the capture of the city of Goa in 1510. Since the day of the victory happened to be on the feast of Saint Catherine, the cathedral was dedicated to her.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint, is a Christian saint and virgin who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor maxentius. She was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of fourteen, and herself converted hundreds of people to Christianity.
The church is 250 feet (76 m) in length and 181 feet (55 m) in breath. The frontispiece stands 115 feet (35 m) high. The Se Cathedral’s tower houses a large bell known as the “Golden Bell” on account of its rich tone. It is said to be the largest in Goa, and one of the best in the world. The main altar is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria, and there are several old paintings on either side of it.