Monday, April 23, 2007

Gloria Church

I drive past the Gloria Church at Byculla everyday on my way to work. It is an eye-catching building in beautiful grey stone, with tall spires.


Byculla is an interesting place. It used to be a low-lying area that was flooded by the sea everyday during the high tide. When the Great Breach at Mahalakshmi was closed in 1784, Byculla dried up, and land became available for settling.

To the east of Byculla lies Mazagaon, one of the original seven islands of Bombay. When land at Byculla became available, the European enclave in Mazgaon began to grow westwards into Byculla.

The original Gloria Church,
Nossa Senhora de Gloria, was built in 1632 by the deSouza e Lima family, who owned Mazagaon island. (The deSouza's got the island in perpetuity from the King of Portugal in 1572. As a matter of fact, if you meet any D'Souza's in Bombay, they probably could trace their descent from this family.)

In 1911, the old church was destroyed and this new one was built in the prevailing Gothic style.

See the tall narrow windows, with pointed arched heads? Those are the typical lancet light windows of Gothic buildings.

And these flowery thingies at the apex of the spire's pinnacles, these are called finials, I think.

How do I know? Because I looked it up here!

10 comments:

CanisLupus said...

did you know 'finial' is a variation of the english word 'final'.

Finial is also used to indicate an ornamental end to any structure (man made only ??) say canes, furniture ....

nitya said...

it would be a nice concept to have a coffee book table on bombay and other smaller cities

Anonymous said...

Hi,just came across your site by accident.Loved your posts on mutton cooking by the experienced small time cooks.I have always wondered,how come half the time our home made curries,never have the same lip smacking goodness as the ones we get in these tiny,gem of restaurants.I have a request,can u do a post on Gloria restaurant,just bang opposite the side entrance of Gloria church in Byculla.It was my regular haunt whilst I was in Bombay & trust me the food is damn cheap & tasty! Esp their Indian Chinese,which I miss terribly,now that I'm abroad.I would love it,if you are able to go in their kitchen & see how they make their famous dishes (Try their dragon chicken!).BTW,gr8 blog ! It's my regular haunt on the web now :-)

Luvi said...

hey people. i just came across this web site an was amazed to read the historical background of mazagaon. I have just moved to mazagaon and it was a great help to know about the place i now live in. Thanks n keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Gloria Church at Byculla is the best thing one can see in Byculla;
George
Bangna Trad- Bangkok

Anonymous said...

I graduated from Antonio D'Souza High in 1957 and wonder if they have a website? Pl email me goodyk@att.net .....many thanks.

Joe said...

That was really informative. I mean I was born and bred in Byculla, played around a lot in the Gloria church compound (sakli, langadi, football etc) but never knew so much about the church.

Gautam said...

Great Blog !
I used to regularly visit the Gloria Church to pray in peace and silence. You remind me of the beauty that Bombay (not Mumbai !) once used to be. I have always had a stubborn habit of calling my beloved city as Bombay.

F.Zaman said...

I had been searching for some information about Gloria Church,Mumbai,your blog is a help to me..Thanks.You may see the photo at...http://www.panoramio.com/photo/75587827#59147623

F.Zaman said...

please see......http://www.panoramio.com/photo/75587827#59147623

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