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The churches are the most visited landmarks in Goa. The churches reveals the rich and religious heritage of Goa and are monuments in stone. They are of great interest to the historians, archaeologists, students of art and architecture, tourists and intellects. The churches of Old Goa, built in the 16th and 17th centuries, are built in the baroque Renaissance style with some Gothic touches. But its inside is derived from European and Indian elements. The “Church of Old Goa” has also received recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is a popular tourist attraction in Goa. Some famous churches in Goa are the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Chapel of st. Xavier, St. Monica Church, St. Francis Church and St. Augustine Church.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is dedicated to infant (Bom) Jesus Christ. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous throughout the Roman Catholic world. This church houses the Holy sacrament and the body of St. Francis Xavier. In this church, the embalmed body of Goa’s patron saint, St. Francis Xavier is kept in the perfectly preserved state since his death, almost 450 years ago. The construction of the church was started in 1594 and completed in 1605. Its richly gilded main alter has the figure of infant Jesus. Up above, there is a big statue of St. Lgnatium of Loyola, the founder of the order of Jesuit. The Holy Trinity of the father, the son and the Holy Ghost are depicted on a medallion.

Se Cathedral

Se Cathedral is the largest church in Goa, India and Asia. The original building was built of mud, stones and straw in 1510 and was dedicated to St. Catherine, as on 25th Nov, the St. Catherine’s day, Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa. The Portuguese viceroy, Dam Francisco Coutinho, the Count of Redondo commissioned its construction. The construction was started in 1562 and completed in 1652. The Dam Francisco Coutinho wanted this church to be a grand church worthy of wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Se Cathedral has 14 altars, a 80 meter long aisle and 5 bells. Out of these 5 bells, one of the bell is the famous ”Golden bell”. The aisle, with its ornamental embellishments culminates in a magnificent gilt alter.

The Chapel of St. Xavier

The Chapel of St. Xavier belongs to the Doric oder architecturally. The Chapel was located within the College of St. Paul and was dedicated either to St. Anthony or to St. Jerome. As the Chapel was used by St. Francis Xavier, it was re-dedicated to him after his canonization in 1622. The original Chapel fell into ruins in 1570 and the present Chapel was rebuilt in 1884.

Church of St. Alex

The Church of St. Alex, with its two towers, ornated altars and a magnificent dome displays the beauty of the architectural style.

Ries Magos Church

The Ries Magos Church is also known as the Church of the Three Magi King. This church was built in 1555. Once this church was the mission center of the Franciscan Order of Monks and later it became the official residence of the Portuguese dignitaries.

Church of Mae de Deus

The Church of Mae de Deus is situated about 13 kms. from Panaji in the Saligo village, amidst picturesque surroundings. This beautiful church is the finest piece of Gothic style of architecture. This church houses the miraculous statue of Mae de Deus (Mother of God).


Church of St. Andrew

The Church of St. Andrew is situated at the northern end of Velha Goa. In this church, a fortnight before Easter, 30 status of the saints were stolen. Later, these were paraded around the roads of the village.

Church and Convent Of St. Monica

The Convent of St. Monica was sanctioned in 1598 and its foundation was laid on 2nd July, 1606 by the Arch bishop Dom Frei Alexio de Menezes who was also the Governor of Portuguese India. Its work was completed in 1627. It is a huge three storied building of laterite with a large inner courtyard. The halls are painted with floral decorations and scenes from the Holy Bible. The convent was later known as the Royal Monastery of Santa Monica. It was also the first nunnery of the East.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

The Church of St. Francis was built by eight Franciscan Friars who, constructed a small Chapel after their arrival in 1517, featuring three altars and a choir. This Chapel was destroyed in 1661 and the present church was rebuilt retaining its exquisitely carved old gate made of black stone. The church has a courtyard and an old large cross made of black stone. Its external architecture belongs to the Tuscan order and its interior belongs to the mosaic Corinthian style. Its length is about 190 feet and breadth is about 60 feet.

The Chapel of Our Lady of The Mount

The Chapel of Our Lady of The Mount is situated on an elevation. This Chapel is built of laterite and plastered with lime mortar. It has three main altars which are dedicated to Our Lady of the Mount, St. Anthony and St. Andrew. This Chapel was built under the orders of Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510.

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary was built by Alfonso de Albuquerque. Its façade has the appearance of a fortress. In front of its altar lies the tombstone of Garcia de Sa, one of the early governors of Goa and his wife Caterina a Piro, the first Portuguese woman to arrive in Goa. This church is a fine example of “Manueline” style of architecture of the early Portuguese. Its interior is simple and has five altars. The main altar bears the image of Nossa Senhora de Rozario or Our Lady of the Rosary.

St. Cajetan Church

The St. Cajetan Church was built by Italian friars of the order of Theatines in 1640. The friars were missionaries appointed by the Pope Urban VIII to preach Christianity to the Kingdom of Golconda. The church is dedicated to our Lady of Divine Providence but is popularly known as the St. Cajetan Church after the founder of the order of Theatines. The St. Cajetan Church has been modeled after the Basilica of St. Peter’s in Rome. Its length is about 121 feet and breadth is about 81 feet. It is built of laterite stone and lime plastered. The external architecture is Corinthian and the interior is mosaic – Corinthian style of architecture.

Chapel Of St. Anthony

The Chapel Of St. Anthony is dedicated to St. Anthony, the patron saint of the Portuguese army and navy. This Chapel is also one of the earliest Chapel to be built in Goa by Alfonso de Albuquerque. It was destroyed in 1835 and rebuilt in 1961 by the last Governor General of Goa, Vassalo de Silva.

Convent and Church of St. Augustine

The Convent of St. Augustine is now completely in ruins. This convent was constructed by 12 Augustinian Fraiars in 1572 immediately after their arrival in Goa on 3rd September 1572. It was reportedly in good shape until it was abandoned in 1853 following the banning of religious orders by the Portuguese government. The church fell into neglect and its voult was collapsed in 1842. Today, only a bell town without the bell is left.

Rachol Seminary

Rachol Seminary is located about 12 kms from Margoa in south of Goa. In 1521 the Portuguese, in their customary fashion first built a church and then a prison, and later in 1574 a seminary to impart philosophy and theology. The museum of Christian art is housed in this Seminary.

Church of St. Anne

The Church of St. Anne was built in 1695 on the banks of the Siridao river at Talaulim. The unique feature of this church are the hollow walls, through which people could walk in secrecy for the confession.


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