Goa is one of the richest states in India in terms of its engrossing history, beauteous beaches and transcendental cathedrals and churches! This state has a plethora of pious establishments dedicated to so many significant saints, that it has been tagged as an important part of Catholic pilgrimage. Lying all over Goa, we have chalked out a list of 9 must-visit churches and cathedrals for you, where you will get a chance to witness the magnificence of divinity and architectural brilliance coming together!
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Built in 1604 and famed as the oldest standing church of Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a classic example of Portuguese colonial architecture and Baroque architecture. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, it accommodates the relics of St. Francis Xavier in an ornamented coffin. Even after 400 years of burial, the remains of the saint are said to be in a healthy condition and are taken out every decade. This establishment is also tagged as one of the Seven Wonders of the World of Portuguese origin.
Location: Old Goa Rd, Bainguinim, Goa.
Timings: Weekdays: 9 AM - 6:30 PM, Sunday: 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception was constructed in the year 1609, all in white, to symbolize the immaculate Virgin Mary! This angelic structure belongs to the Baroque architectural style with influences of Portuguese architecture and it is home to the second-largest bell in Goa- the Augustinian bell. Visit today to click pictures in front of its zig-zag stairs as you might have seen in a lot of Bollywood films as well!
Location: R. Emidio Gracia, Altinho, Panaji, Goa.
Timings: Sunday to Friday: 9:30 AM -12:30 PM, 3 PM - 5:30 PM, Saturday: 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
One of the biggest churches in Goa, Se Cathedral is also one of the most charismatic out of all the churches in Goa! Formed in 1640 to venerate the Portuguese rule over India and to honour their victory, this cathedral took approximately 100 years to be constructed. Devoted to St. Catherine of Alexandria, Se Cathedral is a sight for sore eyes and you cannot leave Goa without paying this structure a visit!
Location: Velha, Goa.
Timings: 7:30 AM - 6 PM
Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount
Constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque after his victory over Adil Shah in 1510, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount is a gem that you cannot afford to miss. With its white walls and stunning architecture, it provides for the most picturesque view during sunsets and is thronged by tourists, all year round. The establishment contains the statues of Our Lady of the Mount holding baby Jesus and pictures of Virgin Mary and Assumption of Our Lady. Home to the famous Monte Music Festival during the month of February, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount deserves its place on this list and has to be on yours too, next time you visit Old Goa!
Location: Velha Goa (Old Goa)
Timings: Monday to Saturday: 9 AM to 7 PM, Sunday: 9 AM to 12 PM
Church of St. Francis of Assisi
Located 10 km east from the capital of Goa, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi was established when the first 8 Franciscan Friars came to Goa in the year 1517! It was after much upgrading and renovation in the year 1665, that the current facade came into existence which includes a blend of Tuscan, Boraque and Corinthian styles of architecture. Abode to the famous statue of Our lady of Miracles, Church of St. Francis of Assisi is wrapped in rich history and architectural value!
Location: Off National Highway 4, Goa Velha, Goa
Timings: Monday to Saturday – 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM
Santa Cruz Church
The Santa Cruz Church, also known as the Holy Cross Church, was built in the year 1957 and is a replica of the Se Cathedral, forged in the Neo-Roman style. Along with the main church building, there are 5 chapels and 9 crosses here. This church now is one of the largest parishes in Goa with the most alluring exteriors and when in this locale, you must drop by for a glimpse.
Location: St Cruz, Goa
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Three King's Chapel
Dating back to the year 1721, the Three Kings Chapel is named after the three wise kings who visited Jesus after his birth. But what's even more interesting, is the story of the chapel being haunted by the ghosts of the three kings who fought to acquire this piece of land and lost their lives! The people who visit it, often report a paranormal presence in the area, which is why it is not open for visitors after 6 PM. This site is also loved by Bollywood filmmakers and in movies like 'Bhootnath' and 'Finding Fanny', this chapel has been featured!
Location: Muder, Cansaulim, Goa
Church Of St.John the Baptist
Established soon after 1596, the Church Of St.John the Baptist sports the magnificent Goan style of architecture and lies 4 km away from Benaulim Beach in South Goa. This beauty was built in remembrance of St. John the Baptist and it features low domes, four-storeyed towers and rococo. This church provides an excellent background for your pictures and
Location: Benaulim, Goa
Timings: 7 AM to 7 PM
St. Andrew's Church
Established in the year 1570, St. Andrew's Church was destroyed by Adil Shah's men in 1578 and then it took 16 years for the process of rebuilding the church to commence! This church is a classic example of the neo-gothic style of architecture and is the ideal locale for your share dose of religious piety.
Location: Swatantra Path, New Vaddem, Vasco da Gama, Goa
Timings: 9 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM
Whilst the time spent at the beaches of Goa is unparalleled, we often forget how abundant this bewitching state is, apart from the sand and the sun. These monumental churches speak of all the wealth Goa has in store for you to unravel and explore! So don't miss the chance to scout these 9 churches and cathedrals of Goa, which are an example of religious, historical and architectural amalgamations, after you're done basking in the sun.