There is no denying the fact that Goa is home to some of the best beaches that India has to offer. These sun-kissed stretches are perhaps the biggest reason for people to book domestic or international flight tickets to Goa. However, these beaches aren’t the only thing that beckons vacationers to this small state. Many also hop on to cheap flights to admire the churches in Goa. These are not just revered places of worship, but also a glimpse into the rich colonial past of the region, taking visitors on a journey back in time. So, if you are intrigued by old and charming monuments, then check out this list of the most famous churches in Goa that you ought to explore on your next Goa adventure.
The Most Famous Churches in Goa
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Basilica of Bom Jesus is arguably the most famous church in Goa. Its foundation was laid down back in November 1594 and the construction was completed after about a decade in 1605. The 183-foot tall façade which showcases a combination of Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic styles of architecture is sure to sweep you off your feet with its simplicity and elegance. As you walk into the church, you will also come across an intricately carved silver casket holding the relics of St. Francis Xavier’s body.
Location: Old Goa
No tour of the historical Goa churches is ever complete without a visit to the famed Se Cathedral, which dates back four centuries. It is home to five bells, one of which, referred to as the “Golden Bell,” is the largest in the state. On both sides of the main altar are paintings depicting the life and martyrdom of St. Catherine of Alexandria. The convent adjoining the cathedral has been turned into a museum where you can come across fascinating archaeological artifacts.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church
One of the oldest churches in Goa, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church was first built in the year 1541 and later reconstructed from its foundation in 1619. While the white façade of the church is quite impressive in itself, it is the two adjacent altars, one dedicated to Jesus Crucified and the other dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, that steal the show. This historical landmark is also an amazing photography spot where you can click some amazing snaps for your social media accounts. Numerous hotels in Goa are located in the vicinity of the shrine.
Church and Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi
Among the numerous churches in Old Goa, the Church and Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi was established in the year 1517 by eight Franciscan friars from Portugal. The church, which started off as a small chapel, was altered in 1521 and the consecration took place in the year 1602. However, the structure standing today was built in 1661 and showcases a medley of various architectural styles, including Tuscan, Corinthian, and baroque features.
Church of St. Cajetan
Church of St. Cajetan, officially The Convent of St. Cajetan and Church of Divine Providence, is believed to have been constructed as per the original design of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Built-in the Corinthian design, the structure features gilded altars adorned with intricate Baroque carvings that put the cherry on top. Established by Italian friars belonging to the Theatines order, this place of worship is a testament to the diversity of orders of the churches in Goa.
St. Alex Church
Dedicated to Saint Alex, St. Alex Church in Goa’s Calangute area is a white beauty. Although a number of feasts are celebrated at this church throughout the year, the biggest of these is the one celebrated in the month of July. If you are headed to Calangute to spend time at its many popular points of interest, take some time out to marvel at this gorgeous structure.
So, these are the best churches that Goa has to offer. Next time you book cheap flight tickets to Goa, remember to include these in your itinerary and explore a different side of the state.