Friars of Augustinian order arrived in Goa in 1572 and build a small convent on holy hill and later it was enlarged. The remaining of the 46 m high Saint Augustine tower was part of a monastery of the Augustinian order and sits atop Monte Santo (Holy Hill). This is perhaps the most mournful memorial to Old Goa’s fallen might.
The church was constructed in 1602 and was abandoned in 1835 due to the expulsion of the religious orders from Goa and the Portuguese Government ordered its demolition. As Old Goa emptied due to a continual series of deadly epidemics, the church fell into neglect and the vault collapsed in 1842. In 1931 the facade and half the tower fell down, followed by more sections in 1938. The tower’s huge bell was moved in 1871 to the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panaji, where it can be seen today.
It is said that the vault collapsed twice during construction and on the third attempt the architect to test its stability ordered a heavy cannon to be fired at the building with his only son standing inside. Fortunately the vault withstood the shock to be brought down due to the ravages of time.