Goa is considered a masterpiece of Portuguese planning and architecture in India. One such striking inclusion to the beautiful city 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. Perched atop a hill, the church gives a vision of an olden day fortress with massive courtyards and big buttresses.
Church Of Our Lady Of The Mount is a 16th century church 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.
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.
Church Of Our Lady of Miracles is a 16th century Church 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.
The majestic white beauty of Se Cathedral in Goa is a shrine dedicated to Saint Catherine. The cathedral is also known as the Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina and is an important centre of the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. It is also the focal point of the Patriarch of the East Indies. One of the largest churches in the whole of Asia, Se Cathedral took nearly 80 years to get constructed. It was established to remember the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers of the city.
This is the famous landmarks of Goa and is the oldest church located in Panajim. The statue of Mother Mary stands at the front of the church with the tower of the church behind. This church has truly been beautifully preserved. Also, the church bell is the 2nd largest bell in the whole world.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus church is one of a kind in India and is known for its exemplary baroque architecture. Built in the year 1594 and consecrated in 1605, the building of this church coincides with the beginning of Christianity in India. The church is located in Old Goa in Bainguinim about 10 km away from Panjim. The oldest church in Goa, Basilica of Bom Jesus holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier, a special friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
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.
Built in 1661 by Italian friars of the Theatine order, the Church of St. Cajetan is located half a kilometer away from Se Cathedral in Old Goa. Originally called as the Church of Divine Providence, it is believed to have been modelled on the original designs of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. The church has a pearly white exterior and is one of the landmarks of the capital city. Although the church is dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence, but it has been named after its founder, St. Cajetan, a contemporary of St.
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.
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 on a recommendation of the King of Portuguese to help convert people to Christianity. The church has been built 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.
This church has a significant resemblance with the St. Peters Basilica in Rome. On the left, 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 and is still visited in large numbers by Catholic devotees and tourists alike.
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.
Located in Panjim, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is one of the most popular and also one of the oldest chapels in Goa. Built in a Portuguese Baroque style, the church is located on a slight elevation, on a hillock. It was originally built in 1541 but was replaced by a much larger structure in the 1600s. Today it is known to house the second largest church bells in Goa. These bells are known to have been removed from the Augustinian ruins of the Church of Our Lady of Grace that existed in Old Goa.
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. The church 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 sees a number of visitors to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Livrament.
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.
So, how did you feel about this specially curated list of hand-picked collection? Do share your experience with us in the comment section below.