Goa is a perfect tourist destination in India for beach lovers. Renowned for its colonial architecture, sun-kissed beaches, Portuguese-inspired cuisine, authentic seafood and vibrant nightlife, this beautiful state shares a strong bond with architecture and history as well. The churches in old Goa are no less than a masterpiece of Portuguese-style architecture that reminds us of the rule of Portuguese over Goa for around 450 years. After the Portuguese lost control over Goa, their only memory left are these majestic churches in Goa.
These churches are not just a worship place but a visual treat for history and architecture enthusiasts. So let’s get started and know in detail about the churches you should visit, while on a vacation to Goa.
1. Se Cathedral de Santa Catarina
Also known as Se Cathedral, it is one of the largest churches in India. This 115-feet high church was built to celebrate the victory of Afonso de Albuquerque over Goa in the year 1510. This church was presented with a golden rose. A golden rose, blessed by the Popes of churches, is considered as an expression of respect, devotion and blessings. The highlight of this church is the giant Golden bell – largest among other churches in Goa. You can also enjoy a guided walking tour of the church.
Visit Timings: 07:30 AM – 06:00 PM
2.The Bom Jesus Basilica
This is one of the most ancient churches of Goa, which has been declared as a UNESCO Heritage site. At the time of rule of the Portuguese, old Goa was the main capital. Here, the churches have Baroque style of architecture. This 400-years old church was designed by Giovanni Battista and it took almost ten years to build it. It also comprises of an art gallery that includes amazing artwork by Dom Marti – a Goa-based painter. This church is adorned with marble flooring and studded stones. It also holds the body of St. Francis Xavier, co-founder of the society of Jesus.
Visit Timings: 09:30 AM – 06:00 PM (Monday-Friday)
10:00 AM – 06:30 PM (Sundays)
3. Church of St. Francis Assisi
Built in 1661, this church is a blend of Baroque and Corinthian style of architecture with ornamented interiors. It also has a museum inside with impressive paintings (depicting the life of St. Francis Assisi), sculptures and artifacts on display. Its interiors are adorned with ornate floral designs, intricate frescoes and woodwork. You can take a walk tour of this church as well.
Visit Timings: 07:30 AM to 06:30 PM (Except Sunday)
4. Church of St. Cajetan
Located close to the Se Cathedral church in old Goa, this church has little reflections of the Corinthian architecture. The structure of this church is said to be inspired from Basilica in Rome. The church of St. Cajetan, church of divine providence, was built in 1661. It is a beautiful church with many aisles supported by huge pillars, six altars with angels carved on its shafts and beautifully-crafted interiors.
Visit Timings: 09:00 AM – 12:00 noon & 04:00 PM – 07:00 PM (Open on all 7 days)
5. Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca
Another historical marvel located at the confluence of Mapusa and Mandovi rivers, Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca is surely going to leave you amazed by its intricate designs and structure. This church is dedicated to Saint Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca, who is said to have prevented danger to Portuguese sailors on their way to India. It is one of the most-visited churches dedicated to Saint Penha de Franca in Goa.
Visit Timings: 08:00 AM – 11:30 PM (Open on all 7 days)
6. Chapel of Calcada de Nossa Senhora de Piedade
Also known as Our Lady of Mercy Chapel is situated atop the Margao’s highest hill point – Monte hill. It gives a beautiful panoramic view of its surroundings. This is another church dedicated to Saint Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca. On Good Friday, the body of Jesus Christ taken for procession and crucifixion of Jesus Christ is implemented at this chapel.
Visit Timings: 07:00 AM – 06:30 PM (Monday-Saturday)
08:00 AM – 6:30 PM (Sundays)
These marvels portray the historical significance of Goa, which have been kept well-preserved over the years. Apart from its scenic beaches and cool lifestyle, people still visit these churches to stay rooted to the traditional Goa culture.
If you are impressed by these ancient beauties then you should explore Goa soon. You can also enjoy our “North & South India Tour” to make your trip to Goa – a memorable one. Visit https://www.getsholidays.com/north-south-india-tour.asp to know more.