Thursday, December 20, 2007

Peaked Gable churches - Simple 'masses' !


St.Peter, Prince of Apostles - SAN PEDRO, Tiswadi
Very old church erected about 1543, as one of the eight parish churches of the Old City of Goa, besides the Cathedral parish. Today it is the only survivor. It was built at the cost of the public treasury by workmen from Portugal.

These early buildings, before around 1590, were built in a relatively unsophisticated, late Portuguese Renaissance style, or with features added later that could be described as Mannerist. The architects of these buildings were still in process of learning the Neo-Roman idiom, with the aid of architectural handbooks, especially that of Sebastiano Serlio.

Our Lady of Help - RIBANDAR, Tiswadi
Erected by Portuguese sailors in thanksgiving for surviving shipwreck. The Church was already a parish before 1565. The sacred relics of St.Francis Xavier were kept at the primitive church of Ribandar (not present structure) for the night of 15th March 1554 after arriving from Malaca. The next day the body was received in the City of Goa (Old Goa today) with great solemnity.

These churches have a two-storey high façade surmounted by a large triangular gable with an oculus. The large single bell tower, which is square in plan, rises to three storeys and generally has no openings other than the belfry arches. The appearance is sparse, devoid of reticulation or ornamentation. The massing of the three blocks of gabled body, tower and porch contrasted to the two-dimensional Compartmented Façade that would emerge in the Mannerist phase of the Neo-Roman style in Goa.

St.Lawrence, the Martyr - AGASAIM, Tiswadi
Built by Jesuits in 1565 and enlarged later.
Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs - ASSOLNA, Salcete
Built in 1616 on the ruins of a fortress on the River Sal bank. The fortress was infamous for the massacre of several village chieftains in retribution for the killing of a group of priests in Cuncolim.
With the exception of the Assolna church, built in 1616, all the peaked gable façades are observed in Tiswadi (Ilhas), the first area to come under Portuguese rule.

St.John Facundo - CORLIM, Tiswadi
Founded between 1595 and 1610. The side chapel and sanctuary were built in 1702. St.John Facundo was an Augustinian monk. The reticulated grid, as observed in S.Joao Facundo, Corlim was an indication that the architects were beginning to grasp the Neo-Roman idiom.
Text & pics from "The Parish Churches of Goa" by Jose Lourenco (photos by Pantaleao Fernandes)


sam_the_ram said...

How about also writing about temples and
I am told even they have great architectures.

Be secular!

sam_the_ram, an atheist :-)

Jose Lourenco said...

Right, Sam. December is always a hectic month and I have to fall back on my past material at times. But come January and we will have some intensive study of the beautiful temples of Mangueshi, Fatorpa, Kavlem and mosques as well.

Joao Sebastiao Manuel Honorato Menezes said...

hey. i am not an architect nor a historian. Just an observatin that all these churches have a triangle a the top quite unlike most of the other churches which have a dome. How/when did this evolve?