Apart from pristine beaches and happening discotheques, Goa is also blessed with ancient Portuguese churches that stand as torchbearers to its rich history. These churches are the only beautiful remnants and memory of the Portuguese in the tropical paradise. With Good Friday round the corner, a trip to Goa’s historic churches will be an ideal way to celebrate the holy festival. Here is a list of top four Goa churches that are ideal places to be on the eve of Good Friday.
1. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa
The Basilica is significant not only to Goans but also to different other communities across the world as it retains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, one of the patron saints of Goa. It was constructed in old Goa way back in 1695. Because of its rich history and popularity, it has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interiors are ornamented with precious stones and paintings that narrate the saint’s life story. Once in every year, when the saint’s holy body is opened to public, millions of tourists from every religion and different corners of the globe come here for a visit. There are a lot of hotels near Basilica of Bom Jesus that offer excellent stay at great prices.
2. Se Cathedral
It is the largest Roman Catholic Church in Asia that took almost 90 years to complete. History states that it was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese rulers over Muslims in Goa. The Golden Bell housed in the Cathedral’s tower is popular because of its unique tone and gigantic size. The clear reflection of the Portuguese style architecture in Se Cathedral helped it attain the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travellers can browse through a variety of budget and luxury hotels near Se Cathedral that provide a royal vacation in this exotic beach destination.
3. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
This is one of Goa’s oldest churches in the heart of Panaji, the capital of the state. It was constructed around 450 years ago, when Panaji was almost like a sleepy fishing village, to welcome sailors to their homeland. The church is beautifully preserved with the statue of Mother Mary casting her eyes over visitors. Apart from tourists, every Catholic till today stops here to pray for a good start to their day.
4. Church of St. Catejan
This church has a different story altogether. It was built by Italian friars who were sent to India by Pope Urban III to preach Christianity. It was modeled on St. Peters Basilica in Rome and stands as a stark contrast to Goa’s Portuguese churches. This 300 year old structure is definitely a masterpiece and a must visit tourist destination.
Visit these immaculate creations rich in history and royalty that promise to make your Goa vacation a memorable one. For more information on Goa churches, browse through our Goa travel guide.