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Fontainhas & The Chapel of St. Sebastian
sabastian-churchfontainhas is the most characteristic and true cultural centre of Old Panjim. It summons up a ward, hurridly built, with narrow winding streets and quaint houses having a charm of its own. A narrow stretch of land bounded on the east by the creek of Ourem, shielded on the west by the hillock of Conceicao / Altinho. The “”Corte de Oiteiro” and the “Fonte Phoenix” mark the limits to the north and south. Till the middle of the 18th century, the whole area of
alluvial soil, got developed as an extensive coconut garden called “Palmar Ponte” by Antonio Joao De Sequeira, nicknamed “Mossmikar”. In 1784, after the death of Sequeira, the garden was donated by the Government to the Convent of Our Lady of Carmo at Chimbel. At that time the area was inhabited by fishermen, sailors and people engaged in the extraction of oil.

Due to deteriorated sanitary conditions in Old Goa, a few offices from the old capital were shifted to Panjim between the years 1810 to 1839. a large number of petitions for lease of land in the new area, started pouring into the Convent of Our Lady Of Carmo. The Carmelites were prompt in leasing out the land without observing any rules of urbanization. The area developed in a haphazard way, with narrow paths winding through the small dwellings.

The Fountain of Phoenix supplied crystalline clear water to the settlement. The Governor, Viscount of Ourem built an artistic reservoir in basalt around the spring. By now the area was being called Fontainhas. For the spiritual needs of the new settlement, a small chapel with only one altar, dedicated to St. Sebastian, was built in 1818. it has a small nave with an adjoining narrow corridor and staircase leading to the choir.
Anti-clerical ideas, caused the Government of Portugal, to abolish the religious orders to the detriment of the Churches and Convents that were being looked after by them, leaving behind a trail of destruction. When the Church of Mother of God at Davgim, in Old Goa, was demolished, the Managing Committee of the Chapel of St. Sebastian, made a plea to Archbishop of Goa to have the CONFRARIA along with the retable and image of Our Lady of Livramento for veneration in the Chapel. The request was granted in 1850, both were brought to the chapel with great pomp. Another Church close to the dedicated to St. Joseph was also in a ruined state. The main retable with the image was also brought to the Chpel of St. Sebastian. This Chapel also houses the Crucifix of The Inquisition, a Tribunal, that has been set up in 1560 to check theconverts to Christianity, from Judaism – the Neo Christians who were showing signs of apostasy.
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