Historical St. Catherine's Chapel, old Goa, one of the earliest Catholic Chapels in India

St. Catherine's Chapel located in  Old Goa was the  first ever Christian ecclesiastical structure  built in Goa. The size of the chapel may be small, but visitors  may not come out of this oldest chapel without being   impressed by its elegance and grandeur.
The Chapel of St. Catherine, Goa. Sree is travelling

The Chapel of St. Catherine, Goa. Alamy
It was the Portuguese 'governador' Afonso de Albuquerque who had built  it originally in 1510 and dedicated it  to St. Catherine  as an honor because  it was on her feast day (November 25, 1510) he came out victorious in his battle against the local Muslim ruler Adhil Shah of Bijapur Sulnanate  and recaptured  Goa from him.  During the hey day of Adil Shah, there stood a mosque from where Afonso de Albuquerque and his army  entered the city. The mosque is gone now  and there are remnants of the old fort of Adil Shah  just across the Chapel in old Goa.  Albuquerque had the mosque  demolished  on November 25, 1510  and in that place built a modest Chapel  with mud, palm leaves, etc to serve the Christian community there temporarily.
Afonso de Albuquerque as governor of Goa,  Indiaen.wikipedia.org
Above image:   Afonso de Albuquerque, Duke of Goa ; c. 1453 – 16 December 1515)  was a Portuguese general, a "great conqueror", a statesman, and an empire builder. On 10 September 1512, Afonso sailed from Cochin to Goa with fourteen ships carrying 1,700 soldiers. Determined to recapture the fortress and Goa, he ordered trenches dug and a wall breached.  It was again a  victorious war with perfect timing as the senior  Muslim ruler was sick at that time. Under his dynamic command,  Goa came  under the control of the Portuguese  rule  and developed into  the most prosperous Portuguese settlement in India. He vastly improved the quality of life for the colonists and expanded the trade activities.... ...............

Governor George Cabral  expanded it in 1550 and later  in 1952 rebuilt it with laterite blocks with lime mortar. It was 
partially plastered with lime. and the fusion of white  lime and the brown color  of  the laterite   adds extra beauty to this Chapel. It is perhaps the second or the third oldest Christian structures in entire Asia then. With a plain interior and one altar, it has a tower on either side of the facade.  The Chapel has rectangular window panes of the Old Portuguese style dressed in mica shells. Close to it stands  'The Church of St. Francis of Asisi' . Though the Chapel is not functional now,  from historical perspective, its significance goes back to the  early years of  the Portuguese rule in the Indian subcontinent. Gov. George Cabral,  installed   an inscribed slab in Portuguese meaning: "Here on this spot and by door entered the Governor Afonso de Albuquerque reconquered this city from the Moors (Sultan  Adil Shah) on the day dedicated to St. Catherine in the year 1510 in whose honor and memory the Governor Jorge Cabral raised this house in the year 1550."
Photo gallery of Chapel of St Catherine, , Goajustdial.com
:Chapel of St. Catherine in Old GoaWikimedia Commons
 It was  from  here the central governing  body of the  Catholic authorities controlled the religious activities in the Portuguese colonies in the East Indies. You may say that Goa was the major Catholic seat of power east of the Suez.  In the 18th century, there were  as many as sixty churches and, of them,  only seven have survived, the rest fell into ruin. In the later period, their power diminished as the the British became a major colonial power in India. 
Ali Adil Shah of Bijapur.Alamy
 Above image:  The Adil Shahi or Adilshahi was a Shia Muslim ruler. The Adil Shah  dynasty, founded by Yusuf Adil Shah  ruled the Sultanate of Bijapur, present day  Bijapur district, Karnataka in India from 1489 to 1686...........

The old Chapel is being visited by lots of tourists.and  is the legacy of early catholic history in India  and also  the beginning of Portuguese rule in the entire region of  Goa.Well-connected by train and road, old Goa is a major tourist destination for the foreigners because there are countless beaches in this small state. Panaji, the capital of the state is close-by and has nice lodges for accommodation.