This historic church in Goa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Basilica of Bom Jesus houses the tomb and remains of St. Francis Xavier. Even after 400 years, the remains are in good condition and are taken out once every decade. Up until half a century ago, Goa was the capital of Portuguese rule in India and this is part of their heritage.
Location: Old Goa Rd, Bainguinim, Goa
Timings: (Monday - Thursday) 9 AM - 6:30 PM and (Sunday) 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Mass Timing: (Monday - Saturday) at 7 AM and 8 AM (Sunday) at 8 AM and 9:15 AM
One of the largest churches in Asia, Se Cathedral took nearly 80 years to get constructed. This massive church in Goa was established to remember the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers in the city.
Location: Velha, Goa
Timings: (Daily) 7 AM to 6:30 PM
Sundays – 7:30 AM, 10 AM, and 4 PM
Other Days – 7:30 AM and 6 PM
In the heart of the capital city of Panjim, Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is a beautiful church lying on a hilltop. One needs to climb up quite a few stairs to get to the church. The church is quite beautiful at nights as it lights up.
Location: Panjim, Goa
Timings: (Daily) 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Mass Timings: (Daily) 7 AM to 5:30 PM
This is the famous landmark in Goa and is the oldest church located in Panjim. The statue of Mother Mary stands at the front of the church with the tower of the church located behind. This church has been beautifully preserved. Also, the church bell is the 2nd largest bell in the world.
Location: Velha Goa
Timings: 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Weekdays – 5 PM (English)
Sunday – 9 AM & 11 AM (English) and 5 PM (Konkani)
The Church of St. Cajetan holds major resemblance to the St. Peters Basilica in Rome. On the left of the church, there are three altars dedicated to the Holy Family, Our Lady of Piety and St. Clare and the right-side altars are dedicated to St. Agnes, St. Cajetan and St. John. Though the building is 300 years old, it has been wonderfully preserved.
Location: Velha, Goa
Timings: 9 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM
Mass Timings: 7 AM to 12 noon and 4 PM to 7 PM
Church Of Our Lady Of The Mount is a 16th-century church in Goa famous for its religious significance and picturesque location. The church is located on a hilltop amidst thick natural vegetation giving a splendid view of old Goa from atop. The structure is now partly in ruins and closed for daily exploration, but an evening mass is held on 8th of every month. The church is also open for the public during the Monte Music Festival and the Feast of St. Francis Xavier every year.
Location: Ella, Goa
Timings: 9 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Weekdays – 9 AM to 7 PM
Sundays – 9 AM to 12 PM
Housing the miraculous statue of Mae de Deus (Mother of God) which was brought from the ruins of the convent of Mae de Deus at Old Goa, this church in Goa stands as one of the finest examples of the neo-gothic style architecture. The first Sunday of May is celebrated as the church feast, the feast of Our Lady, the Mother of God which is the best time to join the celebrations.
Location: Saligao, Bardez Taluk, North Goa
Timings: 9 AM to 12:30 AM and 3 PM to 5 PM
Mon to Sat – 7 AM and 8 AM
Sun – 7 AM, 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM
A place that started as a small place of worship, the Holy Cross church in the village of Santa Cruz now happens to be the largest parish in Goa. The church was built in 1957 in the Neo-Roman style of architecture with perfect blends of Indian and Europian culture. The feast of the church is held every year in the first week of May and is the best time to visit.
Location: Santa Cruz, Goa.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Weekdays: 6:30 AM and 7:15 AM
Sundays: 6:30 AM, 7:15 AM, 9 AM, 10 AM, and 5:30 PM
Chapel of St Catherine is a 16th-century historic chapel which was built over a Cathedral in 1552 on the orders of Afonso de Albuquerque after the Portuguese conquered the state. The splendid Renaissance architecture in laterite and limestone is adorned by paintings and artworks that draw tourists every year.
Location: Old Goa, Panjim
Timings: 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM
The church of St. John the Baptist was originally built near the shore and has been shifted to its present location on top of a hill known as Monte Benaulim in the year 1956. This beautiful church in Goa is well known for the annual feast 'Sao Joao'. Celebrated on June 24th, Sao Joao is one festival which is as entertaining and pompous as the Carnival.
Location: Benaulim, Goa
Timings: Weekdays from 9 AM to 6 PM
Weekdays – 7 AM (Konkani)
Sundays – 6:15 AM (Konkani) & 7:45 PM (Konkani)
Church Of Our Lady of Miracles is a 16th century Church in Goa built by the Portuguese. The Church was initially dedicated to St. Jerome, therefore, it is also known as St. Jerome Church. Since the Portuguese destroyed a number of Hindu monuments to promote Christianity, it is believed that the church is built over a temple. The structure was destroyed in a fire around mid-1900. After the renovation, it was renamed as Church of Our Lady of Miracles.
Location: Sanguem, Goa
Timings: 7 AM - 10 AM and 4 PM - 11 PM
Weekdays – 6:30 AM to 7 PM
Sundays – 6 AM to 6:30 PM
Church Of Nossa Senhora De Penha De Franca is dedicated to a Spanish Saint. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese seamen sailing to India. The church is now considered a monument of national heritage and is also famous for its picturesque location on the banks of the confluence of River Mapusa and River Mandovi.
Location: Pomburpa, Goa
Timings: 8 AM to 11:30 PM
Church Of The Holy Spirit is a 17th-century structure built by the Portuguese. The site initially had a shrine dedicated to a Hindu deity, Lord Damodar, which was destroyed by the Portuguese before the church was erected. It was further destroyed a number of times by the Muslim Army until finally the structure that currently exists was built in 1675.
Location: Borda, Margao, Goa
Timings: 9 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM
Weekdays – 6:30 AM to 7 PM
Sundays – 6:30 AM to 12 PM
Well known all around Goa as Fulancho Khuris i.e. Cross of Flowers in Bambolim expects visitors throughout the year without regards to the weather. This church in Goa stands right behind this cross. Compared to the other churches in North Goa, the Holy Cross Shrine is a more recent construct. The Shrine was built recently in 1996 forming a protective barrier around the Miraculous Cross.
Location: Bambolim, Siridao, Goa
Timings: Everyday 9 AM to 7 PM
Weekdays – 5:30 AM (Konkani ) 5 PM (Konkani) 7:30 AM (Konkani)
Sundays – 7:20 AM (Konkani), 10 AM (Konkani – Chapters Mass)
One of the oldest churches in Goa, St. Clara's Church stands as an example of not giving up. The church was destroyed several times but later reconstructed every time by the villagers. The church is surrounded by lush green forests and has a pure white exterior. The feast of St. Clara Church is celebrated on 2nd Saturday of May that is 14th May every year.
Location: Assonora, Goa
Timings: Every day from 9 AM to 12 PM
Weekdays – 6:45 AM (Konkani)
Sundays – 7 AM (Konkani) 8:30 AM (Konkani & English on the 2nd Sunday)
Built in the early 19th century, Chapel of St Sebastian marks an important attraction in Fontainhas. The pristine white structure is dedicated to St. Sebastian who treated the ones affected by plague and other diseases. This church in Goa houses a crucifix where one can find Christ's eyes are open for striking fear into the minds and hearts of the wrongdoers. The church hosts a number of visitors to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Livrament.
Location: Altinho, Panjim, Goa
Timings: 9:30 AM to 1 PM and 4:30 PM to 6 PM
Weekdays – 6:45 AM
Sunday – 6:15 AM, 7:30 AM and 8:45 AM
Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary is one of the oldest churches in the region and is now considered as a World Heritage Site. The church was built on the orders of Afonso de Albuquerque after Goa was conquered by the Portuguese. The captivating design of the church was inspired by Gasper Correia and has a gothic style main altar dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary.
Location: Gawli Wada, Fatorda, Margao
Timings: 9 AM to 5:30 PM
Weekdays – 6:15 AM to 9 PM
Sundays – 6:15 AM to 9:15 PM
The Church of St. Andrew's was first founded and built-in 1570 and inaugurated with pompous celebrations. The Neo-Gothic style is the most prominent part of the design features that we see in the church today. The most recent changes and inclusions were in the year 2010 with the long extended prayer halls. The church has the pure white all around and the grottos are beautifully maintained in gold tinge and there is a statue of Lady of Fathima carved in marble.
Location: Vaddem, Vasco Da Gama, Goa
Timings: Every day from 9 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM
Weekdays: 5:30 AM to 7 AM, 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Sunday: 5:30 AM to 7 AM, 9 AM to 5 PM
The Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Utorda was originally a chapel at Utorda built-in 1892. This church in Goa was then elevated to be a church in 1894 as an affiliate of the parish of Majorda and was later made a parish in 1976. The church is built in a Neo-Roman architecture in white facade with a bell hanging on top of it. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Patron saint of the Utorda church is celebrated on 14th November every year.
Location: Utorda, Majorda, Goa.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Weekdays – 6:30 AM
Sunday – 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 5 PM
St. Augustine Church was built by the Augustinian Friars in the early 17th century. Although in ruins, the church tower stands 46 metres tall. The church, in its entirety, was considered to be one of the biggest churches in the state and the tower a famous landmark. It possesses an irresistible charm that draws history lovers and is a monument of historic significance in the country.
Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM, Daily
Church & Convent of St. Monica, also known as the Royal Monastery of Santa Monica, was established in the early 17th century. About two decades later, the Monastery was turned to ashes by a destructive fire. However, 15 years later, it was rebuilt and established as the only convent for nuns in the state. It was also known as the first nunnery of the east and housed 150 nuns. The nunnery was shut down in 1885 after the passing of the last nun. From 1968, the attraction functions as only a church.
Timings: 8 AM - 6 PM
Overlooking the village of Agassaim, Church Of St. Lawrence, located atop a hillock was built in mid 16th century by the Jesuits. The church is dedicated to the martyr, St. Lawrence who is also considered to be the patron saint of the cooks and the poor. Tourists are drawn for its religious significance, the age-old Portuguese architecture and the annual feast held on the 10th of every August.
Weekdays - 7 AM (Konkani), 7:45 am (Konkani)
Saturdays – 7 AM (Konkani), 7:45 am (Konkani), 6:30 pm (Konkani – Sunday Liturgy)(No Evening mass during Lent)
Sundays – 6:30 AM (Konkani), 8 AM (Konkani), 9:15 am (Konkani)(Children Mass)
Our Lady of Remedios Chapel or the Three Kings Church is well known in Goa for its spooky activities. Just a 15 kms away from Margao, the church proves to be a great place to take a break from the beaches. This Church is located on a hill in Muder, Cansaulim in Goa and has a breathtaking view from its compound. It is believed that the bodies of the three Portuguese Kings are buried under the church and rumour has it that the restless souls of the kings dwell the church at night.
Location: Muder, Cansaulim, South Goa
Open Days: 6th January every year
Our Lady Of Mercy Church is a colonial church founded in 1630. It was earlier known as Nossa Senhora de Merces. The church houses a statue of infant Jesus Christ which is believed to be found on the Mozambique coast by Fr Bento Ferreira who brought it to Goa and installed it in the church in 1648.
Timings: 7 AM to 8 PM
Weekdays – 7 AM (Konkani), 7:45 AM (Konkani)
Saturdays - 7 AM (Konkani), 7:45 AM (Konkani)
Sundays – 5:45 AM (Konkani), 7 AM (Konkani), 8:15 AM (Konkani), 9:30 AM (English)
A striking architectural inclusion to Goa is the Convent of Santa Monica and the Chapel of The Weeping Cross. Built-in 1606 in Monte Santo, the historic building took a total of 21 years to get constructed. It was believed to be Asia’s first and largest nunnery that could accommodate around 300 people at once. It houses four altars dedicated to St. Monica (mother of St. Augustine), Bom Jesus, Immaculate Mary and Crucified Christ (popularly known as The Weeping Cross).
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5 PM
The Convent and The Church of St. John of God is an olden Portuguese days structure built in 1685 dedicated to Our Lady of Good Success. Situated in North Goa, next to the tower of St. Augustine, the building is very ordinary looking depicting the traditional designs of Portuguese architecture. It is believed that in 1685, eight Brothers from the Congregation of St. John of God constructed the building. They were sent to Goa by the Portuguese King Dom Pedro II to look after the sick in the hospital. When the suppression of religious orders was implemented in 1835, the convent was used as a hospital for the poor and the needy.
The State of Goa has witnessed some very harsh days in its past and has stood together to survive to the new dawn. These Churches in Goa stand evidence of those struggles and overwhelm every person who visits with the charm that never fades.
This post was published by Surbhi Parashar