Museum, Old Goa :
The Christian Art
Museum, the first and only one of its kind in Asia, was earlier located
at the famous Rachol Seminary at Rachol near the town on Margao. However
its relatively remote location had prevented it from being a popular
destination for the tourists.
museum which has enriched cultural heritage and history of Goa was
originally set up in 1994 with technical and financial assistance from
Calouste Gulbentian foundation of Portugal and the Indian National Trust
for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) New Delhi.
This fabulous museum
is now relocated within the precincts of the convent of Santa Monica,
Old Goa, in the vicinity of the Old Goa world heritage monuments.
The museum houses some
of the best specimens of Goa´s distinctive and exquisitely crafted
church art. In the early days of Portuguese colonization, most statues
to be installed in churches were brought by ship from Portugal.
supplemented by images, furnishings and decorations crafted by local
Hindu artisans who were roped in to keep up with the demand as church
building activity of the Portuguese accelerated.
The ground floor of
the museum has an area of 350 sq. mts. It also has an upper floor
gallery with an area of 150 sq. mts. The museum has in its collection
beautiful artifacts like the Pelican monstrance based on the legend that
in times of famine, the mother pelican plucks open her breast and feeds
her young on her own blood. The artistic iconography explicitly suggests
that the holy sacrament is the food for man's salvation.
collection also includes rosaries and other items made of gold and
precious stone. St. Francis Xavier a popular theme is shown in silver
plaques and on the panels of a silver casket. Image crowns and other
rituals objects were also made in silver.
The museum also
possesses some beautiful ivory images. The Good Shepherd depicts Jesus
as an allegorical shepherd watching his flock. He sits in a pensive
posture on an elaborately carved rocky mountain.
Beneath him are
frolicking lambs, a fountain and St Mary Magdalene lies in the front
grotto, in what is described as a pose of Indian influence, studying the
The museum is open
everyday from 9.30 am to 5 pm. The entry fee is Rs. 10 and Rs. 5 for
students, while the entrance is free for children below 12 years.
Christian Art Museum |
State Archaeology Museum |
Naval Museum )