Goa: Culture & Architecture - Churches of Goa
Goa features high up
on the list of popular tourist destinations in India what with its
beautiful beaches, exotic flora and fauna, adventure sports activities
and multi-faceted cultural heritage. No wonder the Portuguese named
it ‘The Pearl of the Orient’.
A great hit with honeymoon couples and holidaying families alike,
Goa is frequently visited by domestic and international travellers.
The people of
Goa are known for their love for the art, music and dance.
Your visit to Panaji (capital of Goa) will be nothing less
than a celebration as you marvel at its myriad shades, each
brighter and more colourful than the other.
Excellence: The Portuguese ruled Goa for over four
centuries during which time they left their mark on Goa’s
cultural heritage which is evident even today. The Portuguese
influence can be clearly seen by looking at the historical
sites, churches, monuments and buildings that showcase the
Portuguese and European style architecture.
of Goa: Faith and
religion forms an important part of Goa’s culture. Churches of Goa
have caught the attention & interest of tourists & travellers,
archaeologist, students of architecture and historians alike. As
you travel the length and breadth of Goa, you will come across many
enchanting churches that bear testament to its rich and varied heritage.
Let’s take a look
at some of the most well-known Churches in Goa -
Se Cathedral, Old Goa –
Known to be one of the largest churches in Goa, India and Asia,
the Se Cathedral was built on St. Catherine’s day – Nov 25th, 1510
and is dedicated to her. It was on this day that Alfonso de Albuquerque,
led by the Portuguese conquered Goa. Besides its grand architecture,
the Se Cathedral is well known for the cross of Miracles that is
seen to be growing in size. Other attractions include the famous
Golden Bell, its 14 altars and 80m long aisle.
The Rachol Seminary, South Goa –
Situated about 12kms from Margao, South Goa the Rachol Seminary,
which was earlier a fortress was built into a church by the
Portuguese. It was later converted into a prison. In the year
1574, the Rachol Seminary was established to impart knowledge
of theology and philosophy. The same seminary is home to the
Museum of Christian Art.
Church of St. Andrew, Goa – Located at the northern
end of Goa Velha is the Church of St. Andrew, the Apostle.
The most striking attraction of this church is the famous
procession that is taken out every year, a fortnight before
Easter in which 30 statues of the saints are paraded over
a distance of about 2 km across the village.
Convent and Church of St. Cajetan, Mapusa –
The Church of St. Cajetan is located in Old Goa and is 121 feet
in length and 81 feet in breadth. Built in 1640, this church has
an exquisite structure which was designed keeping in mind the Basilica
of St. Peter's in Rome. It is believed that the Cajetan Church was
built by the Italian Friars of the Theatines who were asked by Pope
Urban VIII to spread Christianity.
Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi –
The present church is a rebuilt version of the small chapel that
was built in 1517 and stands next to the Se Cathedral. The old black
stone gate still stands with its beautiful ornate carvings. This
beautiful structure is about 190 feet in length and about 60 feet
in breadth. If you visit Goa, you must take time out to visit the
Church of St. Francis of Assisi and marvel at the tombstones which
are closely engraved, depicting the life of St. Francis. Another
must-visit is the Archaeological Museum, which is located in the
Chapel of St. Catherine – As the name suggests, this
chapel is dedicated to St. Catherine. It was built by Alfonso de
Albuquerque when he became victorious in 1510 by conquering Goa.
The new altar built in 1550 stands out for its beauty even today.
Basilica of BomJesus, Old Goa –
Being one of the most famous churches in Old Goa, the Basilica of
Bom Jesus is frequented by tourists from all over the world. This
church is dedicated to infant Jesus and is home to the remains of
St. Francis Xavier. Construction of the Basilica took many years
from 1594 to 1605. The main altar is of particular significance
as it showcases the image of infant Jesus.
Besides these, there
are many more important churches in Goa that stand out for their
brilliant architecture and peaceful interiors. These include the
Church of Holy Spirit, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary, Tower of
the Church of St. Augustine, the Ries Magos Church, the Church of
Mae de Deus and the Chapel of St. Xavier, among others.
Author: Team of travel writers @ contentwriter.in