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Churches, A Monumental Legacy

Old Goa click here for photo

 

Once the administrative capital of the Portuguese empire in the East, Old Goa is blessed with churches, chapels and convents of unsurpassed architectural beauty, befitting its label as ‘Golden Goa’ or ‘Rome of the East’. The conquest of Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510 saw the advent of several religious orders like the Franciscans, Jesuits, Augustinians, Dominicans and Carmelites, who left their stamp with the many monuments they built in Old Goa.

 

Basilica of Bom Jesus click here for photo)

 

Built in the 16th century, this magnificent edifice is the most popular and famous of all the churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, kept in a silver casket, are enshrined here. The casket was wrought by Goan silversmiths in 1636 - 37. Dedicated to Infant Jesus, this church is now a World Heritage Monument.

 

Timings : Sunday : 10.30 to 18.30 hrs. Weekdays : 9.00 to 18.30 hrs Masses: Sundays : 08.00 & 9.15 hrs. Weekdays : 7.00 & 8.00 hrs.

 

Se Cathedral click here for photo

 

The most imposing of all the churches at Old Goa, its vaulted interior overwhelms visitors with its sheer grandeur. This Cathedral has five bells, among them the famous Golden bell, the biggest in Goa and one of the best in the world. The church is dedicated to St.Catherine of Alexandria..

 

Masses – Sunday 7.15 a.m. 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 pm Weekdays : 7.30 am and 6.00 pm.

 

Church of St.Francis of Assissi click here for photo)

 

The entrance and the choir were built in the Manueline style, the only fragment of its kind in the East. First built in 1517, it was later rebuilt twice, in 1521 and in 1661. The interior is illustrated with exquisite paintings and the floor has a large number of tombstones with coats-of-arms. The adjacent convent now houses the Archaeological Museum.

 

St.Cajetan Church click here for photo

 

Built in 1661 in the style of St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It has a Corinthian façade with the main altar dedicated to Our Lady if Divine Providence.

 

Church of Our Lady of Rosary click here for photo

 

One of the earliest built in Goa, the church bears an inscription on the conquest of Goa by Afonso de Abuquerque in 1510.

 

Nunnery of Santa Monica

 

Built like a fortress, it is significant for its massive walls and buttresses. It is the only nunnery in Goa. The convent has a vast courtyard with a cloister. Its three storeys have numerous cells and halls.

 

Ruins of Church of St.Augustine click here for photo

 

Close to the Nunnery is a lofty tower, defying the vagaries of the weather. The tower is the only surviving one of the four that once stood there. The Church when intact was perhaps the biggest in Goa. Another chapter to its history was added recently with the unearthing of the tomb of Queen Ketevan of Georgia.

 

Viceroy’s Arch

One of the gates of Adil Shah’s Fort, it was renovated by the Portuguese conquerors and was the gateway to Goa for Portuguese Governors. Every incoming Viceroy used to disembark at this place.

 

Other Churches

 

Reis Magos Church click here for photo

 

The Reis Magos church was constructed in 1555 and was one of the earliest churches built in Goa and the first in Bardez Taluka dedicated to the three Magi–Kings. This church was once the residence of all dignitaries and also a mission centre of the Franciscan order. There is a fort adjacent to this church.

 

Church of Mae de Deus click here for photo

 

Situated amidst picturesque surroundings, the Church of Mae de Deus at Saligao (Bardez) was built in 1873. The shrine of the miraculous statue of Mae de Deus (Mother of God) was brought from the ruins of the convent of Mae de Deus at Old Goa. This beautiful church is amongst the finest in the Gothic style and is attractively illuminated at night.

 

Church of St. Alex

 

Nine kms from Margao, this church at Curtorim is one of the oldest churches in Goa, built in 1597.

 

Church of St. Ana click here for photo

 

Dedicated to St.Ana, it is a remarkable piece of ancient Christian architecture, situated in Talaulim. Built in 1695 on the bank of the Siridao river, its unique feature are the hollow walls through which people could walk in secrecy for confession.

 

Rachol Seminary click here for photo

 

Situated just off the banks of the Zuari river, 12 kilometers from Margao in South Goa and built in 1574—1610, this majestic seminary is a centre of learning in philosophy and theology.

 

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