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Declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, know about THESE 7 churches in Old Goa!

These churches are identified by UNESCO as historic sites, for they illustrate the evangelization of Asia.

Influential in spreading forms of Mannerist, Manueline and Baroque art, many churches and convents that dot Old Goa's landscape, have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many of these monuments have been identified by UNESCO, for they illustrate the evangelization of Asia. So if you have the slightest inclination towards art history or if strolling through places that exude an archaic aura makes you happy, then add these 7 must-see churches in Goa to your travel itinerary!

Our Lady of the Rosary Church

Built during the sixteenth century, the two-storeyed structure of the Church of Our Lady of Rosary is constructed out of laterite bricks and plastered with lime mortar. The rounded towers that give it the impression of a fortress church are Manueline in style, with a touch of Gothic influence. It rose to prominence because of a legend that states that Albuquerque surveyed the attack on Adil Shah's army from here and vowed to build a church upon his victory.

Timings: 9 AM to 5.30 PM

Location: Monte Santo, Old Goa

Church of Saint Cajetan

A stellar example of the Corinthian style of architecture, the Church of Saint Cajetan rose to fame because of the similarities found between it's design and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Built in 1665 by Italian Monks of the Order of Theatines, this holy shrine also showcases Baroque, Rococo and Goan influences. Interestingly, the engraved pillars of this church are believed to be the last remains of the Palace of Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur.

Timings: 9 AM to 7 PM

Location: Velha Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus

The only Basilica located in Goa, the facade of this historic site is an amalgamation of five architectural styles- Roman, Ionic, Doric, Corinthian and Composite. Located near Our Lady of the Rosary Church, the most visited site within the premises of Basilica of Bom Jesus, is the tomb of St. Francis Xavier. Further, the church complex also houses a modern art gallery, one of the largest of its kind in Asia, housing 36 paintings that depict various Biblical scenes.

Timings: 10.30 AM to 6.30 PM

Location: Old Goa Road, Bainguinim

Se Cathedral

Built by Alfonso de Albuquerque to commemorate his victory during the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Se Cathedral is the church of the Archbishop of Goa. Often referred to as St. Catherine's Cathedral, the edifice of this church is touted to be the largest in Asia. The almost 100 years spent on its construction, have resulted in beautiful Corinthian architecture which is a sight to behold, other than an eighteenth-century organ housed in one of its galleries.

Timings: 7.30 AM to 6 PM

Location: Velha Goa

Church of Saint Augustine

Declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, this complex was built by the Augustinian order and comprised the Church of Our Lady of Grace, Convent of Saint Augustine, College of Populo and Seminary of St Guilherme. The ruins of the Church of Saint Augustine recount an old tale, of how this structure fell down twice while being constructed. However, the third time, its framework remained intact, even when a cannon was fired at it.

Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

Location: Velha Goa

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi

Any tour of Old Goa is incomplete, without witnessing this unique specimen of architecture that is a fusion of Portuguese-Manueline style drifting into a later Tuscan-style building. Other attractions for tourists are the adjoining convent houses, Museum of Archaeological History, Baroque and Corinthian carvings on the altar and the interior decor highlighted by wood paintings and frescoes.

Timings: 7.30 AM to 6.30 PM (Mon-Sat)

Location: Off NH-4, Velha Goa

Saint Catherine's Chapel

Dedicated to Saint Catherine, this rather small chapel dating back to the sixteenth century, is an important piece in the history of Portuguese India. Its Renaissance architectural style, mica shell decorated windows paired with a simple altar facing the River Mandovi, radiates an image of serenity. Despite being non-functional today, this church is definitely worth your time.

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

Location: Velha Goa

Knock Knock

A significant stop for Catholic pilgrims, the churches of Goa offer much more to the tourists than what meets the eye. A place for indulging in religious respite, solitude and even photography, these churches take tourists on an offbeat tour of the state. Apart from a sanitiser and mask, keep your camera handy to frame all the details that catch your eye, whenever in this locale!

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