Goa

Churches

For Those Of You Who Thought That Goa Is Only Famous For Its Serene Beaches, Here's Something Different. Goa Is Also Known For Its Magnificent Churches Which Were Built By The Portuguese In The 17th And 18th Century.

The Portuguese Arrived In Goa, With The Dual Intention Of Controlling The Spice Route From The East And Propagating Christianity. Initially, The Churches Built By Them Played A Major Role In Attracting People Towards Christianity But Today, With A Significant Christian Population, These Churches Are Playing An Important Role In Goa's Religious, Cultural And Social Framework.

Goan Churches Are Also Known For Their Excellent Architecture, Which Is An Interesting Blend Of Two Or More Architectural Styles. The Architects Responsible For The Construction Of The Goan Churches Were Inspired By The Italian Architects As Such Imitations Of The Roman Churches Which Had A Touch Of The Renaissance With Baroque Interior, Sprang Up. Over The Years, A Significant Change Has Been Witnessed In The Architecture Of The Churches, However, The Goan Churches Built During The Portuguese Rule Are Still Noted For Their Unique Architectural Features

Basilica De Bom Jesus

This Unesco World Heritage Site Is A Church, Which Is Situated In Old Goa, And Is An Excellent Example Of Baroque Architecture. Basilica Of Bom Jesus Was Constructed In The Year 1605 And Is One Of The Most Important Destinations For Christian Pilgrims From All Over The World. One Of The Most Important Attractions Here Are The Mortal Remains Of The Missionary Saint Francis Xavier.

Opening Closing Time

sunday: 10.30 Am To 6.30 Pm
Weekdays: 9.00 Am To 6.30 Pm
Masses: Sundays 8.00 Am & 9.15 Am
Weekdays: 7.00 Am & 8.00 Am
Entrance Fee: Free Entry

Se Cathedral Church

Se Cathedral Is Located In Old Goa On The Banks Of The Mandovi River. It Is One Of The Ancient And The Largest Churches Of Asia Which Is Dedicated To Catherine Of Alexandria. It Is The Church Of The Latin Rite Catholic Archdiocese Of Goa And Daman, And The Seat Of The Patriarch Of The East Indies. The Church Is Situated On The Western Side Of The Main Square, Terreiro De Sabaio, With The Front Facing The East. It Took Around Eight Years To Construct This Beautiful Church, Under The Reign Of The Portuguese. This Church Represents The Royal And Imperial Atmosphere Of Goa Prevailing At That Time. UNESCO Marked It As A Heritage Site And Is Considered As One Of The Most Sacred Places Among The Christians. The Structural Design Of The Church Is Classically Portuguese With A Corinthian Core And Tuscan Peripheral. People From All Over The World Come To Visit This Church And To Take The Blessings Of God. Apart From Being A Holy Shrine, It Is Also The Main Attraction Of Tourism In Goa. In 1776, A Lightning Struck A Tower On The Northern Side Of The Church Destroying It. Till Now It Has Not Been Rebuilt. According To Legends, It Is Believed That In 1919, A Vision Of Jesus Christ Appeared On The Church And From That Time Onwards It Is Assumed That The Cross Is Increasing In Size.

History

Dominicans, Who Were The Chaplains, Were Sent To India By The Portuguese Under The Rule Of Alfonso De Albuquerque To Fight The Muslim Army, Who Had Captured Goa In 1510. The Portuguese Won And It Was Also The Day Of Saint Catherine (25th November), So, To Celebrate The Victory, Along With The Feast, This Church Was Built. The Construction Of The Se Cathedral Was Started In 1562 And Was Completed In 1619. Earlier, This Church Was Made With Mud, Straw And Stones. In 1552, Governor George Cabral Ordered To Redesign It But The Opening Years Were Spent On Planning And Designing And The Actual Construction Of The Church Began Only In 1562, Under The Supervision Of The King Dom Sebasitao And Was Completed In 1619. It Was Designed By Julio Simao And Ambrosio Argueiro, The Stalwart Engineers. In 1640, The Church Was Sanctified And, Thus, Became A Holy Place For Christians. The Height Of The Church Is Around 250 Feet In Length And 181 Feet In Breadth And The Frontispiece Of The Church Is 115 Feet High

Major Attractions

Se Cathedral Is Well Known For Its Exclusive Architecture And It Also Portrays The Power, Prosperity And Reputation Of The Portuguese At That Time. This Church Consists Of Very High Ceilings, And The Exterior Part Of The Church Displays The Portuguese Manueline Style While The Interior Part Exhibits The Corinthian Style With Grand And Elevated Pillars. The Major Attractions Of The Shrine Are The Fifteen Communion Tables, Which Are Devoted To Our Lady Of Three Needs Or Our Lady Of Hope And Our Lady Of Anguish, And The Main Altar Is Dedicated To St. Catherine Of Alexandria. Originally, There Were Pillars On Each Side Of The Portico, With Huge Bells, But The Pillar On The North Side Was Destroyed When A Lightning Struck It. However, There Is A Tower On The Southern Side With A Famous Bell, Also Known As The 'Golden Bell', Which Is One Of The Biggest Church Bells Of Goa. There Is A Large Painting Of St. Christopher Which Is Placed Near The Church Choir. The Throne Of The Archbishop Of Goa Is Positioned Near The Main Altar And Also There Are Chapels On The Right And Left Side Of It. On The Right Side, One Can See The Chapels Of St. Bernard, St. Anthony, And The Miraculous Cross With The Holy Ghost And On The Left There Are The Chapels Of Nossa Senhora De Necessidades, St. Sebastian, The Blessed Sacrament And Nossa Senhora De Boa Vida. These Chapels Are Ornamented With Marvelous Latticework. There Are Six Main Boards On Which The Life Of Saint Catherine Is Very Beautifully Engraved. Besides, There Is A Big Gold-Plated Carved Screen Which Is Placed Above The Lord's Table. The Most Favorable Time To Visit This Shrine Is From October To March. However, One Can Go There During The Monsoon Also But, At That Time, It Is Too Hot.

Church Of Lady Rosary

Old Goa, 8 Kilometres From Panaji Is The Spiritual Back Bone Of The State. The Area Is Dotted With Architectural Masterpieces In The Form Of Churches And Convents Of The Golden Age. Old Goa Has Actually Been Declared As A World Heritage Site By UNESCO. These Churches Were Built Here After Fifteenth Century When It Had Become Portuguese Colony. Many Of These Churches Were Built As Thanksgiving To Victory In Annexing Goa. One Such Church Was The Church Of Our Lady Of Rosary. This Church Marked The First Victory Of Portuguese In Goa.

Built In 1544, Church Of Our Lady Of Rosary Is One Of The Oldest Built Churches In Goa. Situated Atop The Western Side Of The Monte Santo (Holy Hill), The Church Overlooks Mandovi River And Divar Island. The Road Going Slightly Uphill South Of The Basilica De Bom Jesus Will Take You To The Church Of Our Lady Of Rosary. A Plaque Placed In The Church Gives Its Brief History. Afonso De Albuquerque (The First Portuguese Admiral Who Came To Goa), Vowed To Make This Church As Thanksgiving At Holy Hill, As He Saw Standing From There His Troops Defeating Adil Shah, Sultan Of Bijaipur In 1510. However, The Church Was Not Built During His Life Time. Starting In 1544, The Church Took Six Years To Complete. It's Status Was Raised To That Of A Church In1543. Francisians Were Given The Authority Of This Church Then. It Was Here That St. Francis Xavier Taught Catechism (Basic Principles Of Christianity In Question-And-Answer Form) In The Evenings. He Use To Ring A Bell And People Would Come There. The People Of Goa Have Special Reverence For The Church Due To This Special Connection With St. Francis Xavier. Every Year, On November There Is The Feast Day Of The Church. The Day Is Marked With Fetes, Music Bands, Dances, Mimicry And Fashion Shows.

Simple In Its Design, The Church Is An Excellent Example Of Manueline Style Architecture Of The Early Portuguese. With Windows Near The Roof And Rounded Towers, The Church Looks More Like A Fortress. The Church Built Of Laterite And Plastered With Line Mortar Has A Two Storeyed Portico. The Facade And The Portico Have Rounded Towers On Either Sides With Cross On The Top. Gothic Influence Is Visible In The Rib Of The Portico. The Roof Is Tiled, Supported By Wooden Rafters. The Church Is Open Seven Days From 9 Am To 5:30 Pm.

Inside The Church

The Church Is Cruciform In Plan With A Square Apse. The Choir Gallery Is Just Above The Entrance. The Church Has Two Chapels And Three Altars, The Main Altar Being Dedicated To Our Lady Of Rosary. Hindu Influence Is Visible In The Decoration Of The Church. The Main Altar Has Motifs Of Cashews, Mangoes And Flowers. To The Right Of The Main Altar Is The Cenotaph Of Dona Catarina Whose Marriage To Viceroy Garicia De Sa Was Performed By St. Francis Xavier. The Decorations, The Foliage Emanating From The Vase Resemble Closely To Gujarat Temples. The Cenotaph Is Slightly Projecting From The Wall. It Is Decorated With Carved Miniature Pillars And Inscriptions In Portuguese. The Triangular Pediment Is Crowned By A Shell Moulding.

Church And Convent Of St. Francis Of Assisi

Church Of Saint Francis Of Assisi, Roman Catholic Church Situated In The Main Square Of Old Goa, 6 Miles (10Kms.) East Of Panji Goa’s State Capital. The Church Of St. Francis Of Assisi, Together With A Convent, Was Established By Eight Portuguese Franciscan Friars Who Landed In Goa In 1517.

The Original Church Began As A Small Chapel, Which Was Modified To A Church In 1521 And Consecrated In 1602. That Building Was Replaced By The Current Structure, Erected In 1661. The Present-Day Church Is A Mixture Of Styles. Its Exterior Decoration Is In The Simple Tuscan Order, But Its Interior Especially The Main Altar Is Richly Baroque With Corinthian Features. The Three-Tier Exterior Facade Has Two Distinct Octagonal Towers, One On Each Side, And A Small Niche That Houses A Statue Of Mary. The Church’s Interior Includes A Richly Ornamental Niche With A Tabernacle Supported By The Four Evangelists On The Main Altar. Above The Tabernacle Are Two Large Statues, One Of St. Francis Of Assisi And The Other Of The Crucified Christ. The Church’s Gilded Interior Is Decorated With Paintings Of Events In The Life Of St. Francis, Carved Woodwork, Additional Statues, And Frescos With Intricate Floral Designs.

The Convent, Contiguous To The Church, Now Houses A Museum That Was Set Up By The Archaeological Survey Of India In 1964. The Museum Contains Artifacts, Paintings, And Sculptures That Testify To Goa’s Rich And Vibrant History.

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