Best Churches in Goa
On your next trip to Goa, don’t forget to visit these best churches of Goa
Churches are synonymouswith Goa. Some of the best and the oldest churches of Asia can be found here. Churches in Goa are known for their architectural excellence, historicity, beauty and more. Various architectural styles, such as Baroque, Gothic, Doric and Ionic have been adopted in the construction of these magnificent churches in Goa. Some of the best churches of Goa are spread across the state, and every village of Goa, has atleast one church.
If you visit Old Goa – the World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO – you can find some of the best and oldest churches in Goa. These churches were constructed during the Portuguese period and date back to the 16 th and 17 th centuries.If you’re someone who loves to explore churches, then you absolutely should check out these famous churches in Goa.
1. Se Cathedral, Old Goa
Se Cathedral, or SéCatedral de Santa Catarina, is one of the most famous churches in Goa,and is dedicated to St Catherine. It is one of the largest churches in Goa with eight chapels along the nave and six altars at the transept. The church is also famous for its ‘Golden Bell’. An interesting story is associated with the bell; during the ‘Old Goa Heritage Walk,’ by Make It Happen, you can learn more about it as well as other architectural elements. The Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, and the only one in Goa.
2. Mae De Deus, Saligao
Mother of God, or Mae de Deus, is one of the finest churches in Goa, built in the Gothic architectural style. Amongst the many churches in Goa, this neo-Gothic church is one of the mostfamous. It stands like a castle in the fields of Saligao, a village located in North Goa. Constructed in the year 1873, this church is distinct for its jutting spires, crowned with a cross. There is aneye-catching,black, stone statue of Mae De Deus, which is illuminated by low-hanging chandeliers, and it is a beautiful sight to behold upon entering the church. The main altar, which is gilded and carved, backed by a reredos, is exemplary, while six other altars add to its beauty. ‘Saligao Village Saunter’ is the perfect way to explore the churches and several other parts of the village of Saligao.
3. Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Panaji
Amongst the famous churches in Goa is this church, situated in the capital city of Goa, Panaji. The church’s exterior formsthe perfect backdrop for revellers and tourists, who visit the place. The church has been featured in many films and is one of the famous churches in Goa. The zigzag staircase, leading to the church, are quite an extraordinary sight. Igreja de NossaSenhora da ImaculadaConceição, or Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, was first built in the year 1541. The feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, which is held every year, on December 8, draws huge crowds of devotees,for prayers and to seek blessings.
4. Our Lady of Piety, Divar Island
Located on the island of Divar, is one of the best churches in Goa, the Our Lady of Piety church, which sits atop the hill overlooking the island. It showcases one of the finest examples of Baroque design. Beautiful flowers and other motifs adorn the interiors of the church, which are also gilded and carved opulently. To reach this church, one needs to hop on a ferry, which is an interesting journey. Choose the ‘Chronicles and Echoes of Divar’ experience, which will take you around this quaint little island of Goa.
5. Nossa Senhora de Belem, Chandor
In the ancient capital of Goa, Chandrapur (now Chandor), stands the church of Nossa Senhora de Belem, which is one of the best churches in Goa. In the year 1654, the church was constructed by the communidades of Chandor, Cavorim and Guirdolim, and over the years,it has undergone much reconstruction and change. It is one of the famous churches in Goa, which is known for The Feast Of Epiphany – the Three Kings Feast. The highlight of this feast, held annually in January,is that people enact the biblical visit of the three kings. The three villagers, who are chosen to play the role of the kings, and dressed in regal attire, and journey on horseback,in a traditional procession, which is a wonderful sight, and you certainly wouldn’t want to miss it!
Picture Courtesy: www.chandorchurch.com