Guide to Stunning Churches of Goa

stunning must visit famous churches of Goa

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This post we will give an account of the stunning must visit famous churches of Goa. These popular churches of Goa offer the traveller a sneak peek into the rich heritage of the state of Goa.

India is a melting pot of various cultures and historical backgrounds. All the 29 states of India have their own unique identity, culture and tradition coupled with the geographical beauty of the region. In this context, Goa, which is one the smallest states in India boasts of eternal sunshine, hypnotic beaches( read about the south goa beaches ), frenzied partying moments and some of the glorious monsoons of the Indian Subcontinent.

But then there is more to it for beyond all the above aspects. These are the culture & traditions of Goa which are seen in its churches & temples. Goa’s proud history is reflected through it heritage sights.  In this post, we will be describing to the reader some of the popular churches of Goa . These churches are part and parcel of Goan heritage and legacy perched on hillocks overlooking the rivers and the oceans.

The best part is that the churches in Goa have some fantastic architecture which is worth documenting and noting down. So without further ado, let me begin this series on stunning must visit famous churches of Goa. This will be a multi-post series, and this is the first part of the series.

Stunning must visit famous churches of Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Though there are churches all over Goa, the prominent ones are found in Old Goa near the region known as Velha. This region was declared as a UNESCO heritage site in the year 1986. The churches built by Portuguese between 16th– 17th century resulted in Goa coming to be known as “Rome of the Orient”.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Basilica of Bom Jesus

The basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most visited heritage sites in Goa. It is remembered for housing the hallowed remains of St Francis Xavier. Considered to be the oldest Church in Goa, its courtyard and inner hall showcases a collection of rare paintings, artworks.

Popular Churches of Goa

The exterior of the Church is quite rustic in appearance, but the imposing building draws the visitors from the world over who visit Goa. The shape of the basilica is also unconventional and hence has its distinct identity. As we enter the main hall, we can see the beautiful woodwork and carvings which add to the entire ambience out here.

Stunning must visit famous churches in Goa

Se Cathedral de Santa Catarina

Just across the road from Basilica Bom Jesus stands the Cathedral de Santa Catarina. This is one of the most beautiful structures found in Goa. Visited by the majority of the visitors, the Church built by the Portuguese is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria.The above two churches are integral churches in the list of stunning must visit famous churches of Goa.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Se Cathedral

The beauty of this monument is the large bell known as “golden bell”, believed to be the largest in Goa. A  lovely lawn in front offers a spot to sit down and gaze upon the beauty of the cathedral. One of the towers is broken down, and that adds to the beauty of the entire frame. There are 14 altars in the interior, and each one is very intricately carved.

Popular Churches of Goa

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Church of St Cajetan

This is on  of my favourite churches in terms of architectural beauty. The Church also called Church of Divine Providence is situated close to Se Cathedral. However, unlike the massive crowds seen in the above two churches, the visitor out here will find a sweeping driveway lined with huge shady trees with the white coloured exquisite Church up ahead.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – St Catejan Church

The Church designed like Rome’s Basilica of St Peter has intricate architecture, and a large dome is a masterpiece with Latin inscriptions. Massive columns erected give support while the altars inside are in sync with the beauty outside. Truly this church deserves to be a part of the collection of stunning must visit famous churches of Goa.

Popular Churches of Goa

The serenity of the place is why I like to visit here repeatedly. There is also an adjoining Pastoral institute St Pius, a seminary school which I think holds certain relics that are not displayed within the main Church. Next to the Church is the Viceroy’s Arch, which has its own history. The built-in arch memory of Vsco Da Gama was ceremonially significant during the Portuguese rule, and it leads down to the Mandovi River flowing nearby.

Stunning must visit famous churches of Goa contd.

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

This is again a church which I have seen does not attract many visitors. I liked this Church for its simplicity in construction with clean lines of architecture all over. The location of the Church standing on Monte Santo Hill and overlooking the river Mandovi and parts of Old Goa is one of scenic beauty. It is also one of the oldest Church in Goa and has three intricate altars and two chapels.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Our Lady of Rosary

I found the inner construction of the church way different from the earlier ones in terms of the artefacts. This Church was far more straightforward, and the vibes are definitely more peaceful. Built-in the 16th century this is one among my favourite location in Goa .If one is looking for some quiet moments amid serene vibes, well this is the place that one should be.

Popular Churches of Goa

Royal chapel of St Anthony

This regal Church is situated opposite to the ruins of St Augustine. It was built by Portuguese in the 17th century and dedicated to St Anthony regarded as the national saint of Portugal. The chapel displays a fantastic architecture in the shape of a semi-circle with a  domed entrance. The exterior façade is all white in colour while the interiors have intricate carvings and sculptures. The interior is also studded with many frescos all around the chapel.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – St Anthony Chapel

The chapel is tucked away within massive iron gates. Hardly tourists come wandering here and not many know about it in the first place. It is a gem to be visited mainly if one is visiting Sta Augustine ruins which is opposite to it.

popular churches of goa
Popular Churches of Goa St Anthony Chapel seen with St Augustine’s ruins(read here ) in the background

Church of our lady of Immaculate conception

Probably one of the most visited and photographed churches in Goa. The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception was constructed in the 17th century. It is over 450 yrs and has the image of Mother Mary at the front looking out towards the town of Panaji. This church also finds its way in the list of stunning must visit famous churches of Goa.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

The Church also houses a gigantic bell, proclaimed to the second largest in the state which was shifted hee from St Augustines. The ceiling of the Church decorated with flowers of blue and white are the colours used for the Church as well. Zigzag steps leading to the Church are one of the most unique features of this Church.

Popular Churches of Goa

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Stunning must visit famous churches of Goa contd.

Mae de Deus, Church

One of the must-visit churches to see in North Goa. The gothic style of construction with sharp spires rising upwards is the signature feature of the Church. It does look like a regal castle from far, narrow and long in construction.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Mae De Deus

There exterior of the Church is all white, and it stands against a backdrop of rural Goa with lush GREEN fields and countryside. The big cross at the front of the Church adds a significant dimension to the whole frame out here.

  • popular churches of Goa
  • popular churches of Goa
  • popular churches of Goa

Popular Churches of Goa

The interiors have intricate construction with a statue of Mother Mary at the side altar with carved arches within. The Church can be seen from far and has a significant open ground lined with coconut trees all along the periphery.

Holy Magi Church, Verem

Also known as The Reis Magos aka The Three Magi, aka the Three wise men. The Reis Magos Chuch is situated off the beaten part and on the banks of the river Mandovi, in the hamlet of Reis Magos. The church construction is orthodox in nature, and the outer facade is all white. A series of wide steps lead one to the church entrance.

stunning must visit famous churches of Goa
Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Reis Magos

It is only one fo the three churches in Goa that celebrate the traditional Feast of Kings ritual in honour of the three wise men of the yesteryears. The Church was constructed in the 15th century and is dedicated to St Jerome.

popular churches of Goa
Popular Churches of Goa

Every year on January 06, Reis Magos comes alive with the colourful “Festa dos Reis Magos “where the story of the Three Kings is re-enacted by the locals.  To reach this church one has to divert to the Reis Magos hamlet in North Goa and then wander towards the Reis Magos fort which is nearby.

stunning must visit popular churches of Goa
Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Reis Magos

St Andrew Church, Vasco

The Church of St Andrew was established in the 15th century and is dedicated to Lady Fathima carved in marble. The Church is also clothed in white and has a distinct architectural amalgamation of various influences. The entire Church is quite pleasant to look at and has some fascinating murals all around. The feast of St Andrew is celebrated on November 3 and is a time of festivities all over the town.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – St Andrew’s Church

Stunning must visit famous churches of Goa contd.

St Lawrence Church, Agassaim

I love visiting churches which are not very well known in the traveller community. One more gem in this category is the Church of St Lawrence near to the banks of the river Zuari. Established in the year 1565, the Church on a small hillock overlooks the village nearby. The unique constructional features of the Church are what drew me here in the first place. The building has a single tile roof and a vaulted chapel.  The Church is adorned with arches and pillars which have motifs on them depicting various legendary themes.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – St Lawrence Church

The local village gathers on August 10 every year to celebrate in honour of St Lawrence to whom the Church refers to in a way. The feast of St Lawrence is unique in its own way and is nowhere else seen in the state of Goa.

Popular Churches of Goa

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Three Kings Chapel, Goa

A quaint church situated on a hill overlooking the Arabian sea shimmering down below. A church with a tale of mystery and myth surrounding it. Welcome to the Three Kings Chapel established in 1721. Located on a hill in the small village of Cansaulim. Barring the tales fo Ghosts that surround the Church, this is indeed a must place to visit. The Church is elementary in construction.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Three Kings Chapel

I visited this Church one monsoon evening, and all that I experienced was peaceful vibes with the wind rustling through the single tree in the garden while the sun makes its way across the clouds. The Church is among the best in terms of popularity and visited by many.

Popular Churches of Goa

Our lady of Victory church, Revora

Another beautifully constructed church which is off the tourist radar is the Lady of Victory Church at Revora. Also called the Revora church locally, this was built in the 16th century. The whitewashed Church with construction in Neo-Gothic style is three storyed with two bell towers and tapering roofs. The façade of the Church has conical and pointed arches.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – Our Lady of Victory

The Church is served by Cappuccin priests, and they have maintained the beautiful heritage of this Church. The interiors of the Church are beautiful and consist of a single hall with high ceiling which has captivating motifs inscribed.

St Anthony’s Church, Cabo de Rama

Tucked away on the cliff sides of the Arabian sea, St Anthony Church, Cabo de Rama was established in the 16TH century. The Church dedicated to St Anthony is painted in the soothing colours of white and blue. One will hardly find any tourist who comes visiting here.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – St Anthony Church

Church of St Anne Goa

This Church, located near to Siridao river in Santana district Old Goa, was established in the 17th century. The exterior architectural features are the strong points out here. The inner hall has a high ceiling as well arches which give it a very regal look. Unlike the other churches built in this era. St Anne Church is rustic in constructions.

Stunning Must visit Famous churches of Goa – St Anne Church

So i have finished with this particular post. I do hope that this post was informative. Do get in touch with me in the comments section if you wish to know anything in particular. I will only be glad to help out. Do comment as to how did you find this post so that i will know the drift of how this post was received.

In case you are interested in further visuals ranging from architecture to travel destinations, flora and fauna of India. So click on below mentioned link.

https://www.traveldreamsbysumit.com/

Would you be interested in reading a few more articles related to culture and exploring India , well scroll down

  • A journey into the Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh.Read Here

FAQ

  • Most of the churches open in the morning and then close by 1100 hrs . There after open in the evening. so plan accordingly.
  • Skimpy clothes for both the genders are frowned upon, so dress appropriately .
  • Being loud inside is not appreciated.
  • Click photos before first asking if permitted or not.
  • Do not use flash as it is prohibited at many places.
  • Avoid drawing attention if you arrive while mass is in progress.It is a serene ceremony and we need to respect that.
  • Whenever in doubt check with the locals for clarification.
  • Use google maps to reach the place and you should be fine.

33 Replies to “Guide to Stunning Churches of Goa”

  1. Oh my! St. Andrews Church is a BEAUTY! I could start at that all day. The architecture of all the churches are beautiful but that one is my favorite

  2. I heard many good things about GOA from my Indian colleagues and from other travelers I met before. They were amazed how beautiful and touristic Goa beach is. And now that I read this article, it made me more interested about this most talk about place in India. The stunning churches are really amazing!

  3. Those are some stunning churches we need to visit someday. I love the architecture of those churches. Gonna add this on my lists.

  4. I love visiting old churches. The art and architecture is just amazing, especially when you think that most were built without modern machinery.

  5. As a Christian, it’s really fascinating for me to visit different churches and know its history. I love how informative your article is and I’d definitely save this for future reference once we can travel again.

Would love a feedback and your thoughts on what you just browsed :)

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