Home Saint Anne’s Church: Goa’s Most Historical Religious Monument

Saint Anne’s Church: Goa’s Most Historical Religious Monument

by Manuel Joseph

As we all know, once upon a time a few centuries ago the Goan region was colonised by the Portuguese. The Europeans built various monuments and places of both religious and historical significance. Many of these aforementioned pieces of architecture have been preserved through the ages by Indians even after attainment of independence in 1947. One that falls in the above category is St. Anne’s Church  also known as The Church of Saint Anne located in the village of Talaulim which is part of the district of Santana situated in Old Goa. 

Getting There

The Church of Saint Anne is also located at a distance of about 23 km from Mapusa,  22 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 10km from Kadamba Bus Station. One can easily commute to the monument through Auto, Cabs, Buses, etc.

  • Address: FVHR+6MW, Santana, Talaulim, Goa 403108.
  • Opening Time: 7 AM Everyday( Unless notified otherwise.


The construction process is believed to have lasted for a little over a hundred years. As historically stated, Monsignor Francisco de Rego began its construction in 1577 and his successor Reverend Fr. Antonio Francisco Da Cunha finished it in 1695. The Portuguese colonial masters announced that it would be considered as a national monument along with architectural masterpieces such as the Church of Saint Cajetan, the Covenant of Santa Monica, the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Se Cathedral and the Bom Jesus Basilica. Each of the above monuments were located in the Portuguese capital of Old Goa, Goa.

In 1961, when Goa was annexed by India, each of the previously classified ‘National Monuments’ were taken over and embraced by the A.S.I(Archeological Survey of India) except the Church of Saint Anne. This was an important moment in the history of Old Goa church as all the other edifices continued to survive while the monument suffered the consequences of prolonged neglect. Certain parts of the structure even reached a precarious state. The aggressive annual monsoon seasons were also blamed to have resulted in the gradual decline of the structure.

Attempts at Restoration

Eventually, the issue caught the attention of the public and concerned authorities. The World Monument Foundation took the church under its wing. In 2007, with support from the Goan state government repairs and foundational strengthening of the structure took place. The National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage has also been involved in its restoration.

Unfurnished exterior surfaces of the facade were treated with mortar engineered to resemble the existing mortar samples of lime. Matching timber or stone was used to replace or repair damaged segments, hardwood doors, windows, carved wooden reliefs and rich Baroque ornamental mouldings. 


St. Anne’s Church at present is predominantly coloured white and has a small cross on top. It at present has a decent amount of greenery around it making a decent outing for nature lovers too! It is considered as an exponent of Baroque Architecture which is quite a significant terminology within Portuguese Archeological circles. This style of construction was quite common among the Portuguese colonists in India. Strangely though this style is believed to have been formulated by the Italians before it gradually spread across the rest of Europe. 

One of the distinct and stand out features of the church are some of its hollow walls which people could walk through to make confessions in secrecy. It also possesses a cylindrical roof structure which makes it somewhat unique. The transept of the church which faces the altar contains a picture of Saint Anne herself depicted wearing a hat and holding a staff in her hand as she was envisioned according to legend.

In Popular Folklore

In olden times, before its construction had been completed, as narrated by the locals an elder of the village named Bartalomeu Marchon envisioned an elderly lady coming down the hill wearing a hat and holding a walking cane. She claimed that the church being built was her abode. She sought to live there.

Coincidentally, another elder of the village, this time a Brahmin woman claimed she had a similar dream. This old woman, however, was gravely ill at the time. The woman is said to have miraculously cured the Brahmin lady and as a result she embraced Christianity. The tale spread all over the village and as a result the monument was then consecrated in her honour. The tale has been etched in the history of Old Goa church.

The Tourceachem Fest

It’s a popular annual feast that occurs at the church on July 26 of every year. It is also known as the ‘Cucumber Feast’. It is a popular part of the church culture and brings joy to the people of the village. It is also believed that prayers offered during this time of the year are especially answered. The tradition is in practice even to this day.

Modern-Day Tourism

The church’s popularity and public appeal seems to have survived the test of time. Despite centuries having rolled by, people still come from various locations to visit the historical site. The church is believed to belong to the Jesuit community which are said to be constituents of the Roman Catholic sect of Christianity. However, it has been adored by visitors of all faiths and sects. Tourists from all walks of life admire its beauty and historical significance.

It has been a mainstay on travel blogs with pieces targeting those planning to visit Goa. Most have rated it as a great experience. Many even claimed to have been spiritually enlightened by it. Despite being over three hundred years old it still hasn’t lost its charm. It is mainly recommended for those with interests in theology( or those that are religious in general), history. archeology, architecture, etc. Such a wide range of appeal has been crucial to its success in tourism. The church has also been named as a world herItage site.

The building forms an important part of the history of Old Goa. It still remains an important tourist attraction to date and hopefully one for centuries to come. 

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