One of the largest churches in Asia, Se Cathedral Church is an imposing edifice in Old Goa
. This cross-shaped church is built on a raised platform of laterite, covered with lime plaster. It was commissioned by Redondo, the then Portuguese Viceroy, and its construction began in 1562 and completed in 1619.
Apart from the main altar, there are eight chapels alongside the aisles and six altars in the transept. These altars are decorated with paintings depicting scenes from the lives of the great saints. The main altar is dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria.
The architecture of the church is a fine blend of Portuguese and Gothic styles. It has a Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior. A flight of steps leads to the beautiful courtyard. The main entrance in the facade is noted for its Corinthian columns and a pediment bearing an inscription in Latin. The statue of St Francis Xavier and a large painting of St Christopher beneath the choir are the added attractions. The church also houses five bells, of which the Golden Bell is famous.
The sacristy, with a barrel-vaulted structure, is reminiscent of St Peter's Church in Rome. There is a gallery to the right of the nave, on which an 18th century organ is kept. Besides, an archeological museum is attached to the church.