Pius X Institute

Pius X Institute

Goa [Velha Goa/Old Goa], Goa, India

Equipment and Infrastructures

The Pius X Institute of Pastoral Theology was founded next to Saint Cajetan’s Convent in the old city of Goa on the initiative of José Vieira Alvernaz, patriarch of Goa from 1953 to 1975. On the site was a building, demolished, in which the Royal Museum of Portuguese India functioned. After the restoration work ended on Saint Cajetan’s Convent, as set out in the Reintegração da cidade de Velha Goa no seu ambiente histórico, arqueológico, monástico e religioso, a report approved on 4 August 1959, work began on the Pius X Institute. The plan was designed by Naguexa Pissurlencar, an architect from the Public Works Department. The construction work lasted 18 months and was overseen by a Portuguese builder resident in Goa, António Laranjo. The building is L-shaped, forming a patio on the north side, which is bounded to the east by the left wing of the convent. The main façade’s language is of classical inspiration and organised symmetrically withrespect to the entrance. It is marked by a slightly projecting volume with colonnades on both floors and topped by a pediment. The façade also has rectangular windows on the ground floor; its upper floor has full-length windows with semicircular tops whose upper frames simulate small pediments. The back side of the building has galleries which open onto the patio and the Mandovi River. They are present on both floors and serve as distribution space along the building’s length. The vertical accesses are resolved in the main entrance area via a bifurcating staircase that stands out in the building’s volume. The institute’s plan includes a chapel and various rooms in which classes, retreats and seminars are still held, among other activities linked to pastoral training, as well as bedrooms and respective support infrastructure. This building of classical language, linked to the Church and located in the old capital, was the last building erected by the Portuguese in Goa; it was finished in 1962.

Alice Santiago Faria