St. Paul’s Church (Diu)
Image Credit : Ghostface Buddha
The St. Paul’s Church, It is located within the Diu Fort, which came under the control of the Portuguese colonists in early 16th century.Diu is located on the western coast away from the Gulf of Cambay. Graced with limestone cliffs, stony coves and sandy beaches,Set off the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat adjoining Junagadh district,Diu is an out and out fun place to be at. It has different types of the tourist attractions too of which holy places in Diu shine brighter and pull major tourist attention. it is an ideal gateway to bask in glistening sand beaches, thick palm-groves and historical monuments.Untouched of the commercial intervention and environmental deterioration.
Diu is a Portuguese colony like Goa. The most famous of the religious places is St Paul’s Church in Diu. The St Paul’s Church in Diu is around 400 year old church. It was constructed in the year 1691. It is dedicated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception.The St. Paul’s Church, named after St. Paul, the Apostle of Jesus also known as the Apostle to the Gentiles, is most renowned, surviving and functioning church, among the three churches built by the Portuguese in Diu. It is considered one of the best examples of baroque architecture (artistic style) in India.It is inferred that the Indian silversmiths known for their exquisite workmanship have influenced the decor in the facade. This has been attributed to a fact that the Jesuits in India could not find native artists who could recreate the original Jesuit architectural designs.
Image Credit : Ghostface Buddha
Diu St Paul’s Church is said to be the only active church in the region till date. It boasts of intricate volutes and shell that form an impressive motif. Its richly done wood carving which has earned a special recognition among the most elaborate Portuguese churches is the real feast for eyes.Everything about this church is very magnificent the motifs formed of volutes and shell and Gothic features.On a close look at this church you will find that it has resemblance with Bom Jesus Church at Goa on the virtue of architectural patterns. It exhibits strong similarity but with better workmanship and design than the Bom Jesus Basilica at Goa built in 1605 AD, which was also built by the Portuguese during their colonial rule of the territory.
It is the largest and the only functioning church in Diu catering to the small Christian community of about 450 Christians who remain after the Diu territory merged with the Indian Union when it was freed from Portuguese colonial rule on December 11, 1961.
In St. Paul’s Church it is said that music began to be used in churches in India even though it was not an accepted practice among the Jesuits who came to India.
There are no railway lines within Diu but It is well connected by roads with rest of the country.The church is easily accessible from the main land from the Portuguese village of Ghoghla in the east or from Veraval or Somnath in the west.Also The road distances to other places in Gujarat are 150 kilometres (93 mi) to Sasangir and 220 kilometres (140 mi) to Bhavnagar.