Se Cathedral Church in Goa: The Largest & The Oldest Church

 In Goa, Holidays, Travel

Se Cathedral church in Goa is a catholic church, dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. Se Cathedral also known as ‘Se Catedral de Santa Catarina’ —- recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest church in Goa. Se Cathedral built by Roman Catholics is one of the best churches in the world and attracts a lot of tourists. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa known for its unique and beautiful architecture.

The Stunning Architecture of Se Cathedral in Goa


Se Cathedral church in Goa is vast and measures 250 feet (76 m) in length and 181 feet (55 m) in breadth with the front piece 115 feet (35 m) high. The stunning architecture of Se Cathedral is Portuguese-Manueline style with a blend of Tuscan and Corinthian architecture for the exterior and interior respectively.

The Exterior of Se Cathedral


As one of the oldest churches in Goa, Se Cathedral’s main building welcomes you with intricate carvings and sculptures. Originally, Se Cathedral church in Goa had 2 towers, one on each side of the main entrance facade. Out of which one tower collapsed in 1776 but never rebuilt. This may also be one of the reasons for its unique appearance.

The Interior Of Se Cathedral


Inside the cathedral, the ceiling is extremely high and arched, giving a grand and majestic feeling. It has 4 chapels on each side and the cathedral tower has the largest bell known as the “Golden Bell” for its rich tone. It is one of the biggest bells in Goa and one of the best in the world. 

The main altar dedicated to Catherine Alexandria is surrounded by several paintings. On the right side, you’ll find a chapel of the Cross of Miracles. This is where a vision of Christ is said to appear. We can see 6 panels to witness the carvings, depicting the scenes from the life of St. Catherine. 

The baptismal font made in 1531 was used by St. Francis Xavier to baptize several Goan converts.  Se Cathedral church in Goa is home to a large painting of St. Christopher placed near the church choir. 

We can find the artistic 8 chapels with lattice work in Se Cathedral church in Goa where the left 4 belong to our Lady of Virtues St. Sebastian, the Blessed Sacrament, and Lady of Life, and the 4 chapels on the right are dedicated to St. Anthony, Saint Bernard, the Cross of Miracles, and the Holy Ghost. 

Near the cathedral, the old convent building has been converted into an Archeological Museum that people can visit. Behind the cathedral, there is a two-story old Palace of the Archbishop that is no longer used. The Franciscan church is located to the west of the cathedral.

Se Cathedral Church Goa History


Se Cathedral Church in Goa was built to honor the victory of the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque over a Muslim army in 1510.  The rich Se Cathedral Church Goa history is closely tied to the story of St. Catherine of Alexandria is considered one of the important saints in the Se Cathedral church in Goa. Also, St. Catherine of Alexandria is one of the earliest women martyrs. 

She is respected for defending the Christian faith through her knowledge and wisdom. She is the patron saint of Christian philosophers as well as the patron of Old Goa City, also known as Velha Goa or Goa Velha.

The Se Cathedral Church Goa history is from the 16th century and is well connected with the veneration of St. Catherine of Alexandria. 

In religious artwork, St. Catherine is shown wearing a crown to represent her royal birth, holding a book to symbolize her knowledge, and standing next to a spiked wheel which refers to the way she was martyred. 

These symbols in her images depict the key events of her life – her royal background, her wisdom and learning, and her martyrdom for her faith.

Se Cathedral church Goa was completed in 1619 and was consecrated in 1640.

The Best Hotels Near Se Cathedral Church in Goa 

Source: Luxury Properties

Se Cathedral church in Goa is a historical landmark with many popular attractions and hotels nearby and has many good places to eat in Goa

  • The Postcard Velha

The Postcard Velha is a chain of hotels, which is luxurious and located in the proximity of top attractions like Se Cathedral and Basilica of Bom Jesus located in Goa. You can also enjoy the best dining experiences in The Postcard Hotel. 

  • Old Goa Residency

Old Goa Residency offers modern accommodation in old Goa, within just 5 minutes away from Se Cathedral church in Goa. It is also the most affordable hotel. 

  • La Grande Residencya

La Grande Residencya is a budget-friendly yet luxuriously furnished property. You’ll be within a 5-minute walk from Se Cathedral church. 

  • House of the Moon

Se Cathedral church in Goa is 2.4 km away from the House of Moon property. The hotel stands out as one of the highly recommended hotels in Goa if you’re looking for a star hotel. 

  • Swarnam – Banquet Hall and Hotel

Located in Panaji, Swarnam Hotel is just a 5-minute drive from Se Cathedral church in Goa

  • Island House Goa

Island House Goa is a luxurious hotel located near the Se Cathedral Church in Goa. It has an outdoor swimming pool, a garden area, and a shared lounge for guests to relax and enjoy.

Churches Nearby Se Cathedral Church in Goa


Se Cathedral Church undoubtedly has spiritual and architectural significance. Nevertheless, after visiting the church, you can embark on a spiritual journey and explore churches nearby. 

  • Basilica Of Bom Jesus Church
  • Chapel of St. Francis Xavier
  • Church of the Cross of Miracles 
  • St Francis Of Assisi Church
  • Holy Place Old Goa Church
  • St Augustine Tower & Church
  • Chapel Of St Francis Xavier
  • San Pedro Church

Tips to Enhance Your Experience at SE Cathedral


A visit to Se Cathedral is a must for anyone traveling to Goa, offering a chance to immerse oneself in the region’s rich cultural heritage. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make the most of your experience:

  • Prepare for Your Visit

Before your visit, familiarize yourself with the cathedral’s history and significance. This will enhance your appreciation for the intricate details.

  • Arrive Early

Se Cathedral opens its doors at 7:30 AM daily. Arriving early not only allows you to explore the cathedral at a slow pace and gives you the opportunity to witness the morning mass, a truly spiritual experience.

  • Embrace the Architecture

As you approach Se Cathedral, take a moment to admire its impressive facade—- The intricate carvings, sculptures, and among two towers, one tower’s collapse in 1776. This unique feature adds to the cathedral’s charm and character.

  • Step Inside

 Upon entering the cathedral, you’ll be struck by the curved ceiling that is grand and majestic. Take a moment to let the grandeur of the space surround you. 

  • Explore the Chapels

Se Cathedral is home to eight chapels. each dedicated to different saints and religious figures. Take your time to admire the intricate latticework and artwork that adorns these chapels.

  • Discover Hidden Treasures

Keep an eye out for the baptismal font used by St. Francis Xavier, the large painting of St. Christopher near the choir, and the six panels depicting scenes from St. Catherine’s life.

  • Visit the Archaeological Museum 

Adjacent to the cathedral, you’ll find the Archaeological Museum, housed in the former convent building. This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Goa’s rich history and heritage.

  • Reflect in the Gardens

After exploring the cathedral’s interior, take a walk to the serene gardens surrounding the structure. This peaceful setting provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on your experience and the cathedral’s enduring significance.

  • Attend a Mass or Special Event 

Consider attending Mass prayer to fully immerse yourself in the cathedral’s spiritual atmosphere.

  • Savor Local Cuisine

No visit to Goa is complete without indulging in the region’s renowned cuisine. Seek out local restaurants or cafes near Se Cathedral to sample authentic Goan flavors and visit the best beaches in Goa, to complete your cultural experience.

Visitor Information: Se Cathedral Timing and Address

    • Se Cathedral timing: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm Everyday 
  • Mass Timings:

    Weekdays –  7:30 am and 6:00 pm

    Sunday – 7:15 am, 10:00 am and 4:00 pm

  • Se Cathedral Goa Address: Velha, Goa, 403402, India
  • Se Cathedral Goa Entry Fee: None

How to Reach Se Cathedral Church in Goa?


Se Cathedral located in Old Goa is around 12 kilometers away from Panji and 28 kilometers from the airport. Getting there should be convenient, as it is a well-known destination, and both public transportation and private vehicle options are readily accessible.

By Road: 

From Panaji (Panjim), travelers have easy access to public transportation options like buses or private modes like taxis to reach the destination—– Se Cathedral. The total distance from the Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand to the Se Cathedral church is approximately 9 kilometers.

By Airways:

The Se Cathedral church is located 28.2 kilometers away from the airport.


Se Cathedral church in Goa is one of the biggest and most beautiful churches in Goa. This Catholic church is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. It has been recognized as an important heritage site by UNESCO because of its incredible architecture.

Se Cathedral was built by Roman Catholics and attracts many tourists from all over the world. People visit because of its unique and stunning design.

The architecture of Se Cathedral is huge and grand. It measures 250 feet long, and 181 feet wide, with the front section standing 115 feet tall. The style mixes Portuguese-Manueline design on the outside with Tuscan and Corinthian styles on the interior. The exterior has intricate carvings and sculptures. Originally it had two towers in the main entrance, but one collapsed in 1776 and was never rebuilt. 

Se Cathedral church Goa history holds great significance, being built in the 1500s to celebrate the Portuguese victory over Muslim armies in 1510. Its history venerates St. Catherine, an early woman martyr who defended Christianity through her knowledge. Symbols in the artwork represent her royal roots, wisdom, and martyrdom for her faith.

The cathedral lies in Old Goa, about 12 km from Panaji city center, easily accessible by road or 28 km from the airport. Nearby are affordable hotels like Old Goa Residency or upscale options like The Postcard Velha or Island House Goa to stay near this incredible monument of Goa’s cultural heritage.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two famous churches in Goa?

Se Cathedral and Basilica Of Bom Jesus are the oldest churches with stunning architecture and great historical significance.

What is the history of the Saint Cathedral church?

The UNESCO monument was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over a Muslim army.

Which is the No. 1 church in Goa?

Se Cathedral is the largest church in Goa and one of the most beautiful churches in India. 

What is the SE Cathedral famous for?

Se Cathedral church in Goa is famous for its architecture, history, and the dedication of the church to St. Catherine of Alexandria.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment