Many buildings in Goa are reminders of the Portuguese who ruled over this small state in India, even after the rest of India achieved independence from the British. The churches of Goa are among the most obvious signs of Portuguese presence in Goa. These churches are the center of tourism in Goa as they attract a large number of tourists each year. The white structures of these churches are an integral part of the landscape of Goa. Some of these churches can be counted among the top tourist attractions in Goa, as they house important relics or documents related to the history of the state.
Famous churches of Goa:
Basilica of Bom Jesus:
This is undoubtedly the most famous among the churches of Goa. This church contains the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier. The remains are brought out for public viewing every ten years and this occasion attracts numerous pilgrims from all over the world. The sacred body is believed to be devoid of decay even after more than four centuries. It is believed that the saint has been protecting the people from various calamities for centuries. The church was built in 1605 and has been declared a World Heritage site.
S E Cathedral:
This cathedral is famous for the cross of Miracles whish is believed to be growing in size. The cathedral is dedicated to the memory of Saint Catherine. The martyrdom of the saint is depicted in the central altars that are heavily gilded. The building is enormous in proportions and built in Tuscan style.
Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi:
This church is a remarkably beautiful structure and one of the important places to visit in Goa. The interior is superbly decorated with paintwork and woodcarving. The tombstones are elaborately engraved with themes form the life of St. Francis. The convent houses the archaeological museum which exhibits many items related to the tribal past of Goa among other artifacts.
Church & Convent of St. Monica:
This church used to enjoy royal patronage and was called the Royal monastery on that account. The large three storied structure was completed in 1627. Laterite is the main building material. Since 1964, the building has also been used by the Mater dei Institute as a nunnery.
The Church of Mae de Deus:
This beautiful Gothic structure is set among scenic surroundings. The chief attraction of this church is the shrine of the Mae de Deus or Mother of God, which was brought from the ruins at Old Goa.
The Church of St. Cajatan, Church of Our Lady of Rosary ,Reis Magos Church, Church of St. Alex and the Rachol Seminary are some of the other important churches of Goa.
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