Die Kirchenbauten in Alt-Goa in der zweiten Hälfte des 16. und in den ersten Jahrzehnten des 17. Jahrhunderts : zur Entstehung eines Sakralbautyps

Pereira, Antonio Manuel Nunes; Jansen, Michael (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2002, 2003)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2002


The numerous church buildings in the former Portugese colony of Goa are evidence of Christianization and christian life in India which has been continuing for approx. 450 years and the town- or landscape would be unthinkable without these. The features of the facades and the interiors are a constant in Goa's sacral architecture and thus give the impression that the majority of the churches in Goa are, as buildings, variations on a single theme. The existence of such an obvious homogeneity leads to the assumption that there must be a primordial typology on which they are based. The aim of this survey is to establish the existence of this primordial typology, to define it and finally to explain its origin. A comparison with European architecture of the 16th century in general and with the Portugese in particular shows that the individual characteristics of Goa's churches from the 16th, 17th and 18th century do not appear in this particular form and composition in Portugal or in other European countries. The search for a specific model for the churches in Goa in architectural treatises of the 16th century was without result. This means that the presumed primordial typology of the sacral buildings in Goa which were very homogeneous must have had its origin in Goa and thus must be looked for there. The examination of these five study objects will be undertaken in individual chapters (3.,4.,5.,7., and 8.). These five chapters will, with regard to the contents, be framed by three further chapters (2.,6., and 9.). Here, the sacral architecture of Goa in the 16th century is classified in three phases of development and is compared with the European, primarily with the Portugese architecture and with some of the most important architectural treatises of this period. The chapter on Goa's church types (10) describing the essence of Goa's churches from the mannerist tradition of the 16th century will be followed by a brief outline of further developments of Goa's sacral architecture of the 17th and 18th century. Further points on historical sources (1.3), the historical background (1.5.), the master builders who are known to have been active in Goa in this period (12.1) and a compilation of all known and relevant historical descriptions of the demolished and partially demolished objects of research (12.4.), as well as numerous lists will complement the core of this thesis. The typical church in Goa is a one-aisled sacral building with an altar room that is separated off, partly with a false transept and lateral chapels or lateral altar niches. In the ground plan the right-angled nave is the main and the largest space of the church. All other spaces in the church are connected to this. The facade consists of a gable wall, which closes the nave at the church front, and two flanking belltowers, which, as a rule, are set slightly behind the nave's gable wall. The exceptional quality of Goa's sacral architecture, however, does not lie only in the above mentioned typology but also in the morphological features which in this form and in connection with this typology appear almost exclusively in Goa. They will be described in chapter 10. The great homogeneity of the sacral buildings in Goa since the end of the 16th century stand in contrast to the relatively few similarities of the church buildings outside this small territorium. Apparently, the churches of Goa had hardly any influence on other regions which were governed by the Portugese. Although Goa was the centre of administration of the "Estado da Ìndia" it, in lots of aspects, took up a very isolated role, especially with regards to the arts and culture. Wars and invasions but also the trade competitors from other European countries contributed to the fact that in the course of the time Goa was increasingly left to itself. Therefore, the sacral architecture of this territory was influenced decisively by its independance as well as by its isolation.