Convent of the Discalced Carmelites – Velha Goa, India - Atlas Obscura

Convent of the Discalced Carmelites

The ruins of a 17th-century Carmelite Convent atop a hill in Old Goa. 


While the Churches and Convents of Old Goa have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, among this vast complex there are a few lesser-known monuments as well.

To the east, there is a small secluded hill. A road leads to the top of the hill where ancient ruins exist. This building was called the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites.

According to experts, it was designed in 1619 by the Carmelites from Italy, who were looking to establish a foundation for their order in Goa. Today, the ruins of the front façade are all that remain. Also known as the ruins of Convento do Carmo, it was the first Carmelite house in India.

Beyond the façade, near the altar, one can see a cross and three tombs. Researchers believe the tombs to be the following: the Tomb of the Resurrection (possibly the remains of the Five Martyrs of Persia), the Tombstone of Monsieur Ian Bebber, and the Tombstone of the Royal Scribe Pedro Homem Ferreira. Historians say there were 20 tombs here once, of which only three remain today.

The ruins are on top of a lonely hill in a thickly wooded area, a short distance east of the other monuments of Old Goa.

Know Before You Go

How to reach: From Gandhi Circle which is in the centre of Old Goa, head east towards Old Goa Steel Yard. From behind the Old Goa Steel Yard, there is a tiny road which goes uphill to the right. This road leads to the ruins of the Convent.

Important safety tip: The hill is secluded and desolate. The uphill road goes through a thickly wooden area. There is no one around. Personal safety and caution are highly advised. Please be alert, be cautious and stay safe.

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