On the 29th of May, 2008 the restoration work on the St. Anne’s (Santana) church had commenced under the aegis of INTACH. This team of INTACH comprised of Arun Gupta, advisor of Heritage Tourism Department and Prof R C Agarwal, Director, Architectural Heritage Division, along with many of their workers. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1998 had approached the Worlds Monuments Fund (WMF) requesting them to nominate the church as endangered monument of world heritage.
Subsequently, the WMF included the church in the ‘World Monuments Watch 2000 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites’. This photo feature aims to acquaint the reader with the restoration work completed till July, 2009 vis-à-vis the church before restoration a year ago in May 2008.
A brief history of the church
Santana Church was founded in 1577 and reconstructed ultimately to be completed circa 1681-89. Declared a national monument during the Portuguese era, the church stands 110 ½ feet high, 147 feet in length and 105 feet in breadth.
The church is dedicated to St. Anne, Jesus’ Grandma. Legend has it that a villager Bartalomeu Marchona witnessed the Apparition of St. Anne. His testimony was further authenticated by another lady. Word of mouth reached the village priest, who interpreted it as divine intervention and hence dedicated this church in honour of St. Anne.
Constructed in the Baroque style of architecture, the church has Indian architectural traits merged with Western motifs such as lotuses, tropical fruits and palm leaves. Perhaps the most ingenious feature of the church is the hollow walls that have passages to reach the confessional box and the pulpit.
The Project, according to official sources, is expected to be complete in 3 years since its commencement.
(The text is prepared from a report in GT dt. 27 May, 2008 ‘Hail St. Anne’s Church’ and my own article, ‘Talaulim Church– Grandeur and Neglect’, of the same day.).
|May 2008: The Gallery above the main entrance|
|July 2009: The Gallery above the main entrance|
|May 2008: A view of the main altar and side altars|
|July 2009: A view of the main altar and side altars|
|May 2008: A closer look at one of the side altars|
|July 2009: A closer look at one of the side altars|
|May 2008: The altar dedicated to St. Anthony|
|July 2009: The altar dedicated to St. Anthony|
|May 2008: A view of the damaged tower|
|July 2009: A view of the damaged tower|
|May 2008: The façade|
|July 2009: The façade|
|May 2008: The crack in the tower|
|July 2009: The crack in the tower|
(This photo feature first appeared on Gomantak Times, dt: 24 July, 2009)