Goa is the Rome of East because of its magnificence churches and cathedrals built during the Portuguese occupation. Churches are the most visible structures and amazing architectural wealth scattered through out the Goan landscape. From the freeways that leads to Goan capital Panaji, these desolate churches conspicuously give their ubiquitous presence in the beautiful backdrop of a clear blue sky. Most of the churches are catholic churches, few of them belongs to Protestants. Churches are specially renowned for fabulous architecture and historical importance.
Churches in Goa were built during the Portuguese invasion(16th and 17th century AD) with a typical style of Renaissance and Baroque style. Churches are famous and a matter of study among the architects for its emblematic Christian architecture. Flaunting with tired facade, framed with columns and pilasters, Churches are undoubtedly next best thing after beaches. For its exemplary richness churches of Goa have found place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Famous Churches Of Goa
Church Of Our Lady Of Rosary
One of the oldest churches built in Goa. It is located on a hill, which affords a panoramic view of its surroundings including the Mandovi river. The church was constructed in 1526 and the edifice remains much the same as the original one. It belongs to the first period of Portuguese church architecture. The church is in a remote place, it is not in use and inside is bare.
Situated just off the banks of river Zuari, 12 Kms from Margao in south of Goa. In the 1521 the Portuguese, in their customary fashion first built a church and then a prison, later in 1574 a seminary to impart philosophy and theology. The museum of Christian art is housed in this seminary.
The chapel built in purist Tucson and Doric style and remained as it was originally constructed. It is a small one with the main edifice being of laterite stone. A service is held once a year and otherwise it remains closed. Inside of church is breathtaking Mosaic-Corinthian style. There is no altar or other ornamentation in the church.
St. Francis Of Assisi
Among the notable churches in old Goa is that of St. Francis Of Assisi. It contains the perhaps the most beautiful work of religious art of the 17th century. One of the renowned architectural wonder is an old gate made of black stone and beautifully carved, one of the rare Portuguese architecture that exist in India.
The Church of Mae de Deus
Situated 13kms. from Panaji amidst picturesque surroundings, in the village of Saligao. The shrine of the miraculous statue of Mae de Deus (Mother of God) was brought from the ruins of the convent of Mae de Deus at Old Goa. This beautiful church is the finest piece of Gothic style. The church is well illuminated at night.
Saint Cajetan Church
In old Goa another church, which is very striking and merits a visit is that of St. Cajetan. It is much newer than most of the other churches. Despite of its small structure, architecturally it is one of the beautiful churches of Goa. The xternal architecture is Corinthian and the interior Mossaic-Corintihian. The cupola presents a majestic appearance, and with windows right around the dome, the interior of the church is always bright.
Nunnery Of Saint Monica
Once a real monastery, this is very large three –storied building. The oldest nunnery in the east, started with few inmates and assumed very great importance and significance with time.
The Church of St. Ana at Talaulim
This remarkable piece of ancient Christian architecture dedicated to St. Ana was built in 1695 right on the bank of the Siridao river amidst picturesque surroundings. The unique feature of this church is that its hollow walls, through which people could walk in secrecy for the purpose of confession.
Basilica Of Bom Jesus
St. Francis Xavier ventured into India to preach Christianity. After his death in the coast of China, he brought back to India but amazingly his body didn’t decompose. Basilica of Bom Jesus preserve the the body of St. Francis Xavier that is why it is particular very significant church in Goa. Altar of Basilica is beautifully embellished but the interior is simple. One of the attraction is a modern art gallery that is attached with Basilica. In the year 2001 the holy relic of St. Francis Xavier would be installed at the renovated st Francis Xavier’s church at kaloor in the city.
By Air : Indian Airlines has direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai daily. Dabolim is the main entry point for Goa
By Rail : You can take trains from Delhi 1,874 km), Mumbai (490km), and Bangalore (430 km) to reach Goa comfortably.
By Road : Goa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka state transport corporations operate from the Kadamba bus stand at Panaji. Frank Shipping operates a boat service between Mumbai and Panaji.