The Church and Convent of St. Monica


The Church and Convent of St. Monica, Old Goa, India

The Church and Convent of St. Monica are located close to the holy chapel of St. Anthony and on the sacred hill or the Monte Santo, old Goa. This chapel and convent is the only convent for nuns in Goa. The construction of this convent and chapel began in the year 1606 and was completed in the year 1627; thus taking long span of 21 years for completion. It was considered as the first nunnery in India. Another name that was given to this convent was the Royal Monastery of Saint Monica. There are about 150 cloistered nuns and they are called as the daughters of St. Monica. This is considered as one of the oldest nunnery in the entire East.

The 3 storied structure stands as a testimony to the past glory and proclaims the grandeur of the 15th century Portuguese architecture. Initially there were very few nuns but over the period of time The Church and Convent of St. Monica became an immensely important place. In the year 1636 this place had caught fire, this caused a great damage to the chapel and convent; for this reason it had to be rebuilt. The amazing structure of this centre is built in the European style. There are high walls to this place that are very inciting and are embroidered with exclusive designs on those compound walls. This convent and chapel have a huge square structure along with a spacious inner courtyard that is surrounded by a verandah that has numerous halls and cells. The ceilings have domes and there are paintings on them with flora decoration and describe scenes from the holy Bible.

This is one of the Asia's largest training centres in Goa for the Catholic nuns. At present The Church and Convent of St. Monica is served as the Masters Dei Institute that Is used by the nuns, for their theologically studies. This center is not only for the nuns but also for the widows and as a protection center for those wife's whose husbands are there in the Portuguese force. There were two categories of classes that were held in this center, the one with black veil or they were also called as the Madres and the other one were the white veil or the Rosario they were called as the Sorores. They were many useful activities that were carried by the nuns, such as making artificial flowers and even excellence in cooking. They were also trained for preparing preservers of syrups, sweet and fruits. They were also trained for doing grading; because of this their gardens used to bloom with beautiful flowers.

Travel Route:

Airways: Nearest airport is the Dabolim which is at a distance of about 30 kilometers away from The Church and Convent of St. Monica. There are regular international and domestic flights that are operated from here to all the major cities of India.

Railway: Nearest railway stations are the Margo and Vasco da Gama, these rail way lines are connected to konkan rail lines. There are trains that are operated from here to all the major cities of India.

Roadways: There are state transport and luxury buses available from Goa to all the major cities of India. There are local buses and taxi services available from bus station to The Church and Convent of St. Monica. There are many other transport facilities available in Goa.