Goa Churches

Goa is a famous tourist destination of India which is synonymous with adventure and natural beauty. It is a perfect place to rejuvenate your senses. At this destination natural beauty, thrill, fun, entertainment and pleasure are served in plenty. This is one destination which one must visit at least once as it has a lot to leave you enchanted. It is the smallest state of India which occupies a prized place on the tourist map of India. The mesmerizing beaches, exciting nightlife, beautiful churches, historic monuments, river cruise, carnival and seafood are the main attractions of Goa.

The churches of Goa are among its famous attractions which have their own unique charm. The churches of this state reflect the rich legacy of the Portuguese who once ruled this place. Some of the churches are recognized as World Heritage Sites. Beautifully built, they reflect a perfect amalgamation of Catholic and Portuguese architectural styles. Most of them were built during the 16th and 17th centuries. Some of the famous churches of Goa are:

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa

The Basilica of Bom Jesus, “Good” or “Infant” Jesus, is a Catholic basilica in Goa, is given the status of Minor Basilica. This church house the tomb of St. Francis Xavier a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) who died on a sea voyage to China in 1552. Legend has it that when the body of Xavier was transferred to Goa the following year, the body was found as fresh as the day it was buried. Consequent to this miracle the title of ‘Saint’ was conferred on Xavier and his mortal remains, confined inside his tomb, attracts devotees from all over the world.

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is covered with marble and inlaid with precious stones and paintings depicting the life of St. Francis Xavier also is one of the richest church in Goa. This impressive structure boasts of pristine white marble flooring and has beautifully gilded altars decorated with frescoes and inlay work.

The Basilica is open to visitors from 9 am to 6.30 pm on weekdays and from 10 am to 6.30 pm on Sundays. Masses are held at 8 am and 9.15 am on Sunday and at 7 am and 8 am on weekdays. St Xavier is honored via special ceremonies which held every year on 3rd of December

Se Cathedral, Goa

Se Cathedral church is one of the largest churches in , Goa Asia,and India. The church is about 10kms from the capital Panaji and is situated in old Goa.This church is dedicated to St Catherine because Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa on her feast day 25th November 1510.The interior of the church is a blend of Mosaic-Corinthian style having principal chapel. Main altar has the presence of four chapel on either side. The exterior of the church is a mix of Tuscan- Doric architecture.

The church is also called as Bell of Inquisition. There are two bell towers on the main facade, one of which towards north was collapsed on 25 July 1776 and the other remaining have five bells which include the “Golden bell” named so because of the rumored of mixing of gold during its creation which contributes to its melodic tone.

The church generally opens during 7.30 am to 6.30 pm on all weekdays.

St. Francis of Assisi ,Goa

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is located in the same compound as the see Catherdal and is 9 km away from Panaji The church was a convent first and was developed into a church for the Franciscan friars in 1521.The church comprises of Mauline style main entrance, Tuscan style exterior and internal buttress wall separating the chapels and supporting intricate floral design gallery on top.

A statue of lady of miracles brought from Jaffna in Sri Lanka stands in niche of facade. A wooden statue of St. Francis of Assisi adorns a pedestal bearing the insignia of the Franciscans. To the left of one entrance is present a wooden pulpit, which is richly carved with floral design. A large statue of St. Francis of Assisi and an equally large statue of Jesus on the cross Is present in main altar, having three vows of the Saint – poverty, humility and obedience.

An archeological museum having a touch of Indo-Portuguese Baroque style is also present in the church. The museum was established in the convent in 1964 and comprises of 60 portraits of the Portuguese viceroys and governors of Goa.

Mary Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim, Goa

Church of Mary Immaculate Conception is one of the earliest churches built in Goa. Located at the heart of Panaji, Goa. This church have the second largest church bell (known as Bell of Inquisition) in the world. The Church Square is an excellent example of the remarkable Portuguese Baroque style.

What you can look out for is the main altar dedicated to Mary Immaculate. There are two more altars, where the one on the left has Jesus Crucified and to the right is Our Lady of the Rosary. On both the sides there are two marble statues, one of St. Peter and the other of St. Paul. On the right of the main altar in the south transept there is a Chapel of St. Francis Xavier. There is also a high, symmetrical, crisscrossing stairway which is an interesting piece of architecture.

The feast of The Immaculate Conception is celebrated every year in Margao and Panjim on 8th Dec.

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