If you are in Goa, certainly you are enjoying the sea beaches but if you are not witnessing the churches then you are missing the real beauty of Goa. The excellent structures with ancient as well as modern Carvings will amaze you for sure. You must investigate the culture of these lovely places of worship.
Tourists from all over the world come to visit this wonderful state. Goa is called the party capital of India and is also known for its beautiful beaches and churches. The churches of Goa show stunning Portuguese design.
The excellent church and the houses which are scattered in this tropical paradise remain here are the only memory of the Portuguese rule. When you step into churches and see their vibrant beauty, know about the golden days. Each church is known for its architectural beauty and importance.
Most popular churches in Goa
Here is the list of most popular churches in Goa:
1. Church of St. Cajetan
St. Cajetan Church is one of the famous churches of Goa. It is popularly known as the Church of Divine Providence. St. Cajetan Church is a Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa. This church was completed in 1661 and now is a part of the World Heritage Site.
St. Cajetan is a large and very beautiful church, which is approximately half a kilometer north of Se Cathedral and is just near to the ruins of the Viceregal Palace. It is believed that this church is based on Rome’s Basilica of St.Peter’s original design. This church is outside the interior and internally Corinthian, and the building is made of laterite blocks, in which lime is used.
2. Bom Jesus Basilica
The Bom Jesus Basilica is considered the most famous church of Goa, and Christians around the world consider it to be the most revered. This church has been partially ruined, but its simplicity and texture are a great example of Jesuit architecture.
It is the only Church of Old Goa, which has no plaster from outside In 1950 a Portuguese conservationist had ordered to remove the lime plaster. This church is located 10 kilometers east of Panaji in old Goa. The Bom Jesus Basilica has been included in the list of World Heritage Site.
This magnificent church is considered an excellent example of Baroque architecture in Goa. The church is called “Bom Jesus” which means ‘good Jesus’ or ‘infant Jesus’ and the church is also dedicated to Jesus.
3. Church of Lady of Rosary
Church of Lady of Rosary is 9 km away from the Panjim Kadamba bus stand, 27 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station, and 36 km from Margao Railway Station. This church has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
The Church of Our Lady of Rosary is located at the top of Monte Santo which is also known as the Holy Hill. Portuguese leader Alfonso de Albuquerque build this church after the victory over Bijapur Sultan in 1510.
The church is an excellent example of the Manueline style architecture of the early Portuguese. This church has been built With the design of a fortress which consists of windows near the roof along with rounded towers. The church has a two-storied portico. It is made with laterite and plastered with lime mortar.
The church has three altars and two chapels. The main altar is dedicated to the Lady of Rosary. There is a marble cenotaph to the right of the main altar and it commemorates the marriage of Dona Catharina with Viceroy Garcia De Sa that was performed by St. Francis Xavier.
4. Church of St Francis of Assisi
The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi is a Roman Catholic Church located in the main square area of Old Goa. The church is situated 9.2 away km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 27 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station, and 22 km from Mapusa. It is located just near the Se Cathedral in Old Goa. It is considered as one of the prime tourist locations to visit in Goa. The church is now listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The exterior of the Church is of the Tuscan style while the main entrance is in Manueline order. The main altar is Baroque with Corinthian features. There are no aisles but only a nave, which is rib-vaulted. The internal buttress walls separate the chapels and support the gallery on top.
Under the frescoes showing flower decorations, a ribbed vault is the main altar, which is covered with gold and has a richly carved niche with a tabernacle supported by the four evangelists.
5. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is considered the first church building in Goa and It is believed that it had been built even before 1541. The church is located on a hillside just above the Idalco Palace in Panjim which is the capital of Goa. There is a beautiful gallery in the church which gives stunning views of the city.
This church is known for its simple and splendid architecture. On the campus of the church, there is 3 altar. The main altar is dedicated to the Mary Immaculate. One altar is dedicated to Jesus’s crucified and the other is for Our Lady of the Rosary. On both sides of the church, there are two glorious marble statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. A feast of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is organized on the 8th of December every year.
6. Se Cathedral
Se Cathedral is considered the most ancient and celebrated religious buildings of Goa. Se Cathedral is the largest church in Asia which had been built by Roman Catholics under the rule of the Portuguese. Se Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria that’s why it is also known as St. Catherine’s Cathedral. On the feast day of St. Catherine Alfonso Albuquerque took possession of the city of Goa after defeating the Muslim army.
The interior of the church has been built in a traditional cruciform shape while the exterior looks rectangular. The interior architecture was inspired by Corinthian. The main altar is dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria. there are eight chapels along the sides of the nave and six altars at the transept.
7. St. Alex Church
The St. Alex Church Dedicated to St. Alex and located in the main tourist location Calangute. This church had been built in 1741. The St. Alex Church is known for its serenity and beautiful architecture. There is a picturesque grotto inside the church which is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. There are two main towers, one main splendid dome, and seven altars in the church. The feast of St. Alex is celebrated in the month of July.
8. St. Diogo’s Church
The St. Diogo Church is located in Guirim popularly called ‘The Guirim Church’. It was founded in 1604 and catered to the villages of Guirim, Sangolda, and the valley of Porvorim. In 1703 the church was repaired when two belfries joined it. In 2004, on the occasion of its fourth centenary, renovation work has done on large scale. The St. Diogo Church is known for its simplicity.
9. Church of Our Lady of Miracles
The Church of Our Lady of Miracles is also popular by the name St Jerome’s church. It was founded in 1594 and rebuilt many times since the foundation. The church is popular for its annual festival celebrated every year. The architecture of the church is simple. The church was built by the Portuguese on the site of an old Hindu temple, thus the Hindu community also holds the site. Both communities celebrate the church’s annual feast day together. And it is an excellent example for Hinduism and Christianity often coexist happily in Goa.
10. St. Andrew’s Church
St. Andrew’s Church was built in 1570. The church is dedicated to St. Andrew who was a Scottish fisherman and considered as one of the twelve apostles or primary disciples of Jesus Christ. He is revered as the patron saint of fishermen. Once you will reach Vasco and take the Zuari road the magnificent church will welcome you. On Monday prayers are held in Konkani and on Tuesday, it’s done in English. On 30th November every year church celebrates the annual feast of St. Andrew.
Read more, Top 12 Most popular churches in the world
The church also runs a school and you will feel the joyful atmosphere of kids. People believe that if you are an unmarried woman and searching for a partner then go to the feast of St. Andrew, who knows you will meet your future partner. The church opens every day from 9 AM to 12:30 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM. If you have a confession to make, knock on the door between 4:30 PM and 5:45 PM on Thursdays.