Saturday, April 23, 2011

Curves, Goths and Grooves

A chapel on the roadside at Saligao. Hundreds of chapels dot the country side in Goa, attached to the village parish churches. This one sports familiar Rococo curves at its apex, common among the churches and chapels of Bardez, dominated by the Franciscans in the heydays of Portuguese rule. The porch seems to have been a later addition. The road must have been much narrower when this chapel was built. But the elegant little structure still puts up a dignified front, its urn finials towering above the buzzing tourist traffic.

The much photographed iconic Church of Mae de Deus at Saligao. Built in 1873, its prominent buttresses and fleur-de-lis tipped pinnacles suggest a Gothic style, but don't expect any ribbed vaults within. The view below is from the bandstand that lies at the far end of the sprawling church grounds.

Ther is a Konkani saying 'Razven fator legit zorta'. A rope can even wear out a stone. It implies that persistence can overcome even the toughest obstacles. The literal meaning stems from the tradition of pulling water at a well using a rope running against the edge of the stone lining the well. Wells like that are rare nowadays, we are accustomed to seeing a pulley used to ease the pot up. I found such a pulley-less well in Saligao. The grooves worn out by centuries of ropes sliding within can be clearly seen.

Of course, you have to be careful when pulling water from such a well. One false step by a puller could see him or her end up in the drink. Which would require rescue, the puller then becoming the pulled!



FN said...

Much appreciated!

OnTheNinthNight said...

Bravo meu irmao! Thank you for enlightening us on aspects of Goa's incredible architecture and past~

Sucheta Potnis said...

Hi Jose!

What a wonderful blog on the lovely architecture of Goa. Many many thanks!

About the chapel in Saligao - I think it is the St Anne's Chapel. FN can try and send you a later photo, where it has been painted white with a trim of a pale aqua colour that looks very pleasant!

The Mae De Deus church in Saligao I have heard described as "Neo Gothic" - is that correct?

Take care