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St. Cajetan's Church
Ranked #15 of 107 things to do in Panjim
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 25, 2012

This church is tucked away in the Northern parts of Goa flanked by a garden and .It was erected in 1661 by Italian friars of the Theatine Order, in the style of the famous Basilica of St. Peter in Rome and this is its most striking feature. The elaborate altars, angelic figures, ornate sculptures and the beauty of light within the church commands awe. This is the only surviving domed church in Goa. If you are a serious photographer or want to experience some magnificent church art and design from ancient times, this is where you should head. The Se Cathedral is located nearby.

2  Thank nam_gypseagal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 31, 2012

Worth the trip to see this church as I thought it to be the most beautiful of all the churches/Cathedrals in Goa. As you can see by the posted pics the alter is magnificent as is the high dome and all the detail in virutally every corner of the building. Probably took 30 pictures inside because every time I took a few steps or turned around there was something impressive to look at. It is not the biggest or even the tallest but it was the most beautiful in my opinion. If the others are world heritage worthy I don't know why this location isn't. There were three other people inside...really quiet.

2  Thank Robster071
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Reviewed April 16, 2012

If you have been visiting the attractions of Old Goa including the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Archaeological Museum and the Se Cathedral being among the more prominent, then as you leave the latter you can head down to the side road that takes to the river and set back from it on the other side lies the Church of St Cajetan. The level of maintenance here tells you that this is still well used and serving it's original purpose and perhaps more so than the other buildings mentioned there is a sense, as a tourist, that your presence if just a touch intrusive. It's not that it's any less welcoming, but there is a real sense that this is a church first and a tourist attraction very much second.

As you enter you will encounter signs prohibiting photography, but as with most of the other buildings you may have visited in Old Goa these are asking you not to photograph people inside the buidling, not preventing you from photographing the building itself. once inside you a free to take pictures but as always it's best to be sensitive to the purpose of the building and the feelings of others. For the most part the lighting in St Cajetan is better than in the other buildings of Old Goa and you should be able to make good use of it avoiding any need to use flash. The use of a tripod is also best avoided simply because those who care for the church do not wish to encourage something that without care can be intrusive and can physically mark the floor, so if you want to use one seek permission in advance and make sure the model used has rubber feet or capped spikes.

Walking into the church the centre is occupied by a very obvious flat raised flast slab that outwardly looks like a large gravestone though this is not apparently it's purpose. Beneath it is said to be a tank that may have belonged to an earlier Hindu structure though this is not the only explanation I heard and it seems a little enigmatic. Standing by it however is one of the best places to view the interior of the church. Looking straight ahead you will be pointing your camera directly at the nicely framed main altar, dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence. This rises in a richly decorated collection of figures and ornamentation until it is topped by a crown. On the side of the large slab facing the altar is the best place to look up at what is probably the highlight of the visit, an unexpectedly beautiful dome, bright and naturally lit, the weight of which explains the four great pillars that frame the centre of the structure, on one of which is a well carved and very well proportioned pulpit. There are other altars around the periphery of the church. On opposite sides of the centre are those to Our Lady of Piety, on the left as you face the main altar and facing it that to St Cajetan. Closer to the main altar and before the sacristys to either side of it are those dedicated to the Holy Family and St Agnes.
Outside the structure is well formed with an entrance having two columns to either side and four niches along the the face of the building for small statues of the apostles. Up above are two towers, one on each side as would have been the case on the Se Cathedral. The dome however isn't obvious which makes it all the more of a surprise when you enter. The bulding is white plastered but apparently built of laterit blocks like the other buildings here and the manicured lawns and well tended setting help to make this an outstanding building in Old Goa worthy of more attention. This is a relaxing place and well worth the putting on your list of places to visit while in Old Goa

1  Thank Geobar01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2011

amazing church. Museum a little boring but cheap to get in.

1  Thank linzi-c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 10, 2005

Any trip to Goa must include a few hours walking the churches, basilicas, cathedrals built by the Portugueses. St. Cajetan's is not in the main complex of churches such as Se Cathedral, St. Francis of Assisi or the Chapel of St. Catherine, but it is worth the short walk to visit this building.

St. Cajetan was an Italian (had to look that bit up on the Internet) so it makes sense that the cathedral which constructured by Italian builders. It does indeed have the look and feel of St. Peter's Basilica.

One can walk about St. Cajetan...even up to the altars and gaze at the wonder and size of this building.

When leaving St. Cajetan's, turn right. Ask for the exact location of the Viceroy Arch. This large arch, reconstructed in 1954 was the entry way to Goa from the river Mandovi that the viceroy followed. The road way leads past St. Cajatan's. Location, location, location.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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