Convent Of The Cross Of Miracles

Convent Of The Cross Of Miracles

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

Religious Architecture

The Convent of the Cross of Miracles is somewhat distant from the centre of Old Goa, located on top of a hill, the Monte da Boa Vista [Good View Hill], at the south end of the bygone city. According to José Nicolau da Fonseca, its origin is due to a number of apparitions and miracles which began on 23 February 1619 by a cross placed on the site by a priest named Manoel Rodrigues. A first church was built to commemorate the phenomenon. A new church was built between 1669 and 1671 by Augustinian Friar Agostinho dos Reis. An image of Our Lady of Good Success, who became the church’s patron saint, was brought from the order’s convent. The cross of miracles meanwhile kept in the (now disappeared) Church of Our Lady of Light was again brought to this site. The Church of Our Lady of Good Success was ceded in 1684 to the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. That community built and successively enlarged the huge convent building on the south side of the church. After the religious orders were abolished the cross of miracles was taken to the Sé Cathedral of Goa, where it is currently found in one of the side chapels. The convent was abandoned and is now in ruins. The church has a two-level façade with a configuration quite different from the usual Goan canon. The single door is flanked by two windows well above its lintel, meaning that the pilaster arrangement on this first level takes on the nature of a colossal order. The upper level has one single window and is topped by a curved gable supported on the sides by two double pilasters. The convent’s north-facing façade starts with two floors perpendicular to the church on its south side, though it has three floors on the lower west side of the forecourt, which is accessed by large steps leading down the slope. Inside, the round arches of the cloister’s lower gallery on the south side of the church have survived. This gave access to two long galleries, running along the cells facing the city side to the north. The upper gallery’s floor is entirely gone, meaning the two levels can be seen from the lower gallery, accentuating the monumental scale of this ruin. It is currently in a poor state of preservation.

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