At a distance of 11 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 18 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 41 km from Mapusa, The Pilar Seminary is situated in North Goa.
Pilar Seminary is one among the two surviving seminaries out of the four originally built by the Portuguese. This stands on a hillock at Goa Velha, which was once the capital of the famous Kadamba dynasty and was known as Gopakapattam.
The Capuchin monks founded the Seminary in 1613. A University of Science, Arts and Theology was established in the premises of the Pilar Monastery in 1633. They also built Our Lady of Pilar church. The Pilar Monastery will complete 400 years in July 2013.
The beautiful Seminary features a marble platform, altar and amazingly beautiful stained windows which were built in Germany. The beautiful old Church at the Seminary has an exquisite baroque doorway made out of carved stone. A niche above the doorway holds a statue of St Francis of Assisi and the door has on it a carving of two crossed hands, symbolizing Christ and St Francis.
The tomb of Fr Agnelo dīSouza, who was the spiritual director of the seminary lies inside. Around a small garden inside, there are cloisters decorated with 17th century frescoes. There is a small museum, which houses fragments of pottery and temple sculpture excavated from the site including a lion - the Kadamba symbol, Portuguese coins and a beautiful carving of Mary Magdelene done in 1733 by a Goan sculptor.
The feast of our Lady of Pilar is celebrated on 12th October in the Pilar Monastery. On the eve of the feast, there is a devout procession of the statue of Our Lady of Pilar. The present statue that is carried for the procession was brought from Spain in 1961. Before that, even the main statue was taken down and carried in procession.
The Seminary attracts devotees in large numbers every Thursday, it being Father Agnelo,s special day. It commands magnificent panoramic view of the countryside as well as Mormugao harbour and the Zuari River.
Timings: 8:30 AM - 1PM and 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM on all days.