Church of St. Francis Of Assisi, Old Goa
The Portuguese built the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in 1661. This church lies on the western side of Se Cathedral, with the Palace of the Archbishop in-between. Laterite blocks were used in its construction that is lime-plastered. The convent, which is an annexure of the church, houses an archaeological museum. The statue of St. Francis of Assisi, made of wood, embellishes the pedestal that bears the emblem of Franciscans. A statue of Our Lady of Miracles, brought from Jaffna, Sri Lanka, adorns the facade. The statues of St. Peter, St. Michael and St. Paul are also seen here. Painted panels portraying the life of St. Francis of Assisi are retained on the adjoining walls.
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa
Goa’s most famous Jesuit church, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, situated in Old Goa, is the first minor basilica in India. The church is dedicated to Bom Jesus, meaning infant or good Jesus. This model of elegance and simplicity, now in ruins, is the most revered church in the Christian community worldwide. Jesuit architecture is quite apparent from its design and structure. The consecration of the church was done by the then Archbishop of Goa, Fr. Alexia de Menezes upon its completion on 15 May 1605. The facade of the church has the letters ‘HIS’ inscribed on it, that are the first three letters of Lord Jesus Christ in Greek. The figure of infant Jesus is placed on the main altar that is richly glided. A large statue of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, is above the altar. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are kept intact in a decorated casket in the basilica.
St. Cajetan Church, Old Goa
Half a kilometer away from the Se Cathedral and close to the ruins of the Viceregal Palace lies the beautiful St. Cajetan Church. Modeled as the Basilica of St. Peter of Rome, this church reflects Corinthian architecture. The richly carved glided altars are made following the Baroque style. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence and is named after St. Cajetan, the founder of order of Theatine, who was a contemporary of St. Francis Xavier. The church was built by Italian friars in 1661. The altars of the church are decorated with Italian-school paintings, some of which depicts the life of St Cajetan. It is famous for the high vault on which are inscribed the words of Christ ‘My House Is a House of the Words of Christ”.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim
The Panjim Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is placed on the hillside and just high above the Idalco Palace built by Adil Shah. Standing on the gallery of the church, you can see the entire view of the lovely Panjim city. It is one of Panjim’s best attractions located in the heart of Panjim city and is the first church of Goa, built in 1541. The decoration of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception church is simple, but still it is amazing to the eyes because of it simplicity. In the year 1871, the great bell belonging to the Augustinian Church of Our Lady which is in Old Goa was brought here in Panjim Church to install. After the Golden Bell in Se Cathedral, this is second bell which is large and heavy in weight and due to this the whole pediment of the façade was renovated and increased in the size.
Se Cathedral Church
Se Cathedral, considered the biggest Roman Catholic Church in Asia, is one of the ancient and most popular churches in Old Goa. According to history, Alfonso Albuquerque in 1510 defeated the Muslim army on the feast day of St. Catherine of Alexandria and took possession of Goa. Statistics available say that this 16th-century monument took 80 long years to complete. Also called St. Catherine’s Cathedral, devoted to Catherine of Alexandria, this church with excellent tradition holds a high place of sacredness and respect among the Christians across the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that clearly reflects the Portuguese Manueline style of architecture and royalty. The Golden Bell, famous for its rich tone and large size, is housed in the Cathedral’s tower. Apart from the altar that is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria, the other attraction is a chapel of the Cross of Miracles that is housed on the right side. It is said that in 1919, a vision of the Christ appeared on the chapel.
Lady Rosary Church
On the western side of the Holy Hill, called Monte Santo, lies the Church of Our Lady of Rosary. The church gives an excellent view of the Mandovi River and Divar Island. History evidences that in 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque organized his army at this site and eventually became victorious. This church holds a high regard as St. Francis Xavier imparted his teachings here to the locals. The main altar has the image of the Lady of Rosary.