Planning a holiday in Goa? If yes, then you should know that Goa is not only known famous for its beaches, but its churches too. When the rest of India was under the British rule, Goa was the only state that was ruled by the Portuguese. They had ruled Goa for about 451 years.
During their rule, the Portuguese built beautiful churches and houses that are counted till date as architectural gems. We’ve listed down few of the churches that are a must-visit for tourists.
1. Se Cathedral
It is one of the oldest and the largest in India. The church was built to celebrate the victory of the Portuguese ruler Afonso de Albuquerque over the Muslim rulers of the city in 1510. It took about 80 years to build it. The church is located in Velha Goa and dedicated to St.Catherine. You can visit the church on any day of the week between 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.
2. Church Of St. Francis Of Assisi
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is situated at the back of Se Cathedral. The walls of the church are adorned with beautiful paintings of St. Francis of Assisi that depicts his glorious life. This Roman-Catholic church is mostly known for its Barque and Corinthian architecture. A part of the church has been converted to an art museum that’s home to exclusive artefacts, paintings and handicrafts.
3. Bom Jesus Basilica
If you’re keen to experience the finest work of the Baroque architecture, then visiting the Bom Jesus Basilica is a great idea. The church is renowned for hosting the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is said that the body of St.Francis Xavier was taken to Malacca, soon after his death on the ship. Later it was declared that the body should be buried in Goa, it took more than two years to reach Goa. What was surprising was his body did not decompose in these years. Don’t believe? Well, this one is a shocker — his body remain just the same till date. The best time to visit the church is during the Sunday mass between 10:30 am to 6:00 Pm.
4. Church Of St. Catejan
The Church of St.Catejan is listed among some of the most beautiful churches in Goa. The architecture resembles the St.Peters church in Rome. It was built 300 years ago by Greek and Italian priests. The church is built of laterite blocks and is influenced by the Corinthian style of architecture. The interiors are well-designed and divided into different sections with each section featuring several aisles that are flanked by massive pillars. The main altar is dedicated to the Holy Mother. You can visit the church in the morning between 9:00 am to 12: pm and in the evening between 4:00 pm t0 7:00 pm.
5. St.Alex Church
The St.Alex Church was built in 1741 by the local village communities. The grotto is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. The two features that make the church stand out from the rest are its dome and two towers. The dome is bounded by seven altars. It hosts numerous feasts, some of which are Feast of St. Alex, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and Feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. One of the most surprising facts about the church is that is is built on the site of a Hindu temple, Ravalnath. You can still see remains of the temple while you visit the church.