The need and significance as important breathing space in the Urban as well as rural set-up is strongly felt. The Square might be a religious one or political, socio- cultural or simply recreational one. They act as important voids in the city. These voids are essential to serve a platform for the inside world to venture into the outside world and interact with each other and hence give meaning to the place. Squares are encountered in each and every part of the world right from small gathering places to large imperial Squares. Some evolved through political history and some through the impact of time and various factors like socio- cultural and socio- religious whatever may be the reason; the need for such spaces in the city is a necessity throughout ages. They provide sense of relief   from the chaotic life of Urban set-up. One such square is located in Margao –Goa which is in the phase of saving its identity.



In the pre-Portuguese Era there were mostly socio- religious temple squares present in Goa. These squares evolved as centres for every village.  The communidade (which was the sole governing body) looked after the community staying in and around the temple premises. Despite the changes in different eras, the concept of the square remains the same. It serves as a platform for religious and cultural activities. And most important was to socialize. In the Holy Spirit Church Square a lot of Indian influences were seen in the architecture in Portuguese Era. The concept of courtyard was taken from a typical Hindu structure where the planning was done according to the Vaastu principles.

The courtyard was the central space around which the rooms were planned. This reflected an introvert way of living of the people. In the Portuguese Era, many of the structures adopted this element in a more functional way. They introduced the balcao,(veranda/porch) and it was perceived as a sign of their unorthodox nature. This was very well executed in the overall layout of the square.  The Church Square was the main centre with each of these balcao’s facing the Square.

The Church Square has gone under several transformations right from early Portuguese Era till present day. The Holy Spirit Church Square is one of its kinds in Goa where in the Church dominates the Square and the houses on either sides and the Music School on the opposite side binds it. As far as administration was concerned, Communidade and the Parish house looked after the welfare of the community.


Before the industrial revolution, religion was the basis of pre- industrial society hence giving it a sacred dimension. In case of the Holy Spirit Church and the Square it emerged as a result of Portuguese who anchored their religion in these areas. For the same reason the Church stands on the same site where once the Damodar temple existed. After the demolition of the Temple, people who didn't want to get them converted flew to other places. Hence, there emerged the present Portuguese settlement at this particular Square. Over the years it has gone a tremendous change. The pressure from commercialisation and heavy traffic has put the Church Square in a hazardous situation. The character of the Square is slowly changing due to the neglect of the people. Some of the buildings are just left for collision. The need for the conservation of the Square can only be conveyed if the people know the importance of the square.






Capture of Goa by the Afonso de Albuquerque


Initial intervention by Portuguesein Margao


Arrrival of St.Francis Xavier


The Holy Spirit Church built by demolishing the temple of Damodar Macaji


Mass being celebrated at the Church Square


The Holy Spirit Church was being demolished by the moors in an attack of Adil Shahs force


The Holy Spirit church was rebuilt


The construction of the Holy Spirit church was complete


Resolution was passed, allowing Hindus to stay in Margao City.


(29th December 1933) Margao got status of a city


(15th June 1954) Music School found by Fr. Camilo Xavier


























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Comment by Robert P Fryer on June 11, 2011 at 1:23am
Very interesting and informative

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