A trip to Goa is incomplete without visiting the stunning churches. These churches are a testimony of the rich cultural and colonial history of Goa. Each is adorned with remarkable Portuguese architectural influences that have tremendous historical significance. Let’s take a look at the must visit churches in Goa:
This is amongst the largest churches in India and is one of the most popular churches in Goa. This church was erected in 1510 to celebrate the victory of the Portuguese ruler Afonso de Albuquerque. He captured a Goan city and that day happened to be the feast of St. Catherine. So, the church served both the purpose of commemorating St. Catherine and as a mark of celebration as well. This church has a rich Portuguese-Manueline architectural style. It also houses the largest bell in the entire Goa.
2.Bom Jesus Basilica
This is a UNESCO world heritage site as it houses the well-preserved mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Thousands of believers from all over the country and world visit this place to catch a glimpse of the remains of Saint. This Jesuit church is also famous for its rich Baroque architectural style.
3.Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Built in the 17th century, this is the oldest church in Goa. It is located in Panjim and has a simple and elegant exterior. The church constitutes two altars. One is dedicated to St. Peter and the other is dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. This church is almost 450 years old and was originally built to welcome the sailors at home. During the day of the feast, thousands of devotees from all over the state visit this church.
4.Chapel of St. Catherine
This is a classic Christian pastoral church and is absolutely one of its kinds to be built in Goa. Built in 1510 by the then Portuguese governor, this church is small and elegant. It was built to commemorate St. Catherine. When you visit this church, you will find a stone slab that describes its brief history. This is one of the best standing reminiscents of the history of Portuguese conquest in Goa.
Located atop a hill near Sat Burnzam Ghor, you have to climb the Monte Hill to reach this church. This is the highest point in Margaon and once you are there, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the picturesque locale. The church has a simple and elegant exterior and is popular among tourists for its exotic location.
6.St Alex Church
Built in 1741, this church was built by the local villagers. The main architectural highlights of this church include its dome and the two towers. Thousands of people visit this church during the feasts. The popular feasts include Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Feast of St. Alex, and so on.
Next time when you Plan Goa tour, don’t forget to visit these churches.