Church & Convent of St Monica

Old Goa

Work on this three-storey laterite church and convent commenced in 1606 and was completed in 1627, only to burn down nine years later. Reconstruction began the following year and it’s from this time that the current buildings date. Once known as the ‘Royal Monastery’ because of the royal patronage that it enjoyed, the building comprised the first nunnery in the East and was finally abandoned when the last sister died in 1885.

During the 1950s and ’60s the buildings housed first Portuguese and then Indian troops, before being returned to the church in 1968. The building is now used by nuns of the Mater Dei Institute. The high point of a visit is a peek at the ‘miraculous’ cross behind the high altar, said to have opened its eyes in 1636, when blood began to drip from its crown of thorns.

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Nearby Old Goa attractions

1. Museum of Christian Art

0.05 MILES

This museum, housed in part of the 1627 Convent of St Monica, contains a collection of statues, paintings and sculptures. Interestingly, many of the works…

3. Chapel of St Anthony

0.13 MILES

The Chapel of St Anthony, dedicated to the saint of the Portuguese army and navy, was one of the earliest to be built in Goa, again on the directions of…

4. Monastery of St Augustine

0.14 MILES

The melancholy, evocative ruins of this once vast and impressive Augustinian monastery are all that remain of a huge structure founded in 1572 and…

5. Ruins of the Church of St Augustine

0.15 MILES

Standing on Holy Hill (Monte Santo) is perhaps the most mournful memorial to Old Goa’s fallen might. All that’s left today of the Church of St Augustine…

6. Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

0.18 MILES

Passing beneath the buttresses of the Convent of St Monica, about 250m further along the road is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, which stands on the…

8. Chapel of St Catherine

0.22 MILES

About 100m to the west of the Church of St Francis of Assisi stands the small Chapel of St Catherine. An earlier chapel was erected on this site by…