Are you planning to visit Goa this Christmas? During your trip, don't forget to visit these churches too. Built in Gothic architecture, there are several churches in Goa that has not failed to pull tourists to them.
During the Christmas season, the churches in Goa are decorated with lights making the majestic structures even more beautiful. This is a peculiarity one can witness only during the time of Christmas. Immersed in Christmas carols, these churches are a must-visit if you are to visit Goa during your Christmas holidays.
Most of the churches in Goa were built during the times of Portuguese rule. Old Goa is more popular for its churches than new Goa. Several of these churches were built during the 16th and 17th centuries. You must be aware of the fact that the Portuguese ruled over the Goans for quite a long time and the rich cultural heritage of Goa is a unique blend of the Portugal sense of architecture and the refined building skills of the Indians undertaken together which inspires us to delve deeper into the wondrous churches and excavate the brilliance it exudes!
Today, on our list, we have 20 churches of Goa for you to take a look at. We bet you shall not be able to stop yourself from visiting here soon! Go on and read about the best churches in Goa for you to visit this Christmas.
1) Basilica of Bom Jesus
This 400 year old church is one of the best known churches in Goa. The church is home to Saint Francis Xavier who brought Christianity to the region. This UNESCO site is worth a visit on your trip to Goa this season.
Photo Courtesy: P.S. Sujay
2) St. Cajetan Church
If you ask which is the most beautiful church in Goa, there is no doubt that it's St. Cajetan church in Old Goa. This majestic structure is inspired by Corinthian and Baroque styles of architecture. It is built based on the St. Peter Church in Italy.
Photo Courtesy: Carlosalvaresferreira
3) St. Clara's Church
Its scenic beauty in the lap of mother nature is quite alluring. Its sparkling white structure and enthralling architecture captivate a lot of tourists, especially in the broad daylight. The Marathas have caused the destruction of the church umpteen times but it stood afresh every single time. Healing sessions in the church pull a lot of crowds who benefit from it.
4) Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
This church is perhaps the most famous church in the capital city of Panjim. The neatly maintained cobblestone sidewalks and the elegant and tall structure of Virgin Mary are worth a sight! This white structure is all lit up during the season of Christmas.
Photo Courtesy: AaronC's Photos
5) St. Francis of Assisi Church
This awe-inspiring structure is built using laterite using Tuscan and Manuline architecture. Though the structure is in Goa, the idols in the church are from different parts of the world, which includes the Lady of Miracles statue from Sri Lanka.
Photo Courtesy: Aaron C
6) St. Anne Church
The church of St. Anne is located around 10 km from Talaolim in Goa. This beautiful structure stands on the banks of river Siridao and is often visited by tourists around the world.
Photo Courtesy: Naizal Dias
7) Se Cathedral
This magnanimous white stunner took around 80 years to be built and is deemed to be the colossal church of Goa and is also counted as one of the best in the history of India. Se Cathedral suffered a storm which resulted in the destruction of one of the bell towers which lent the church a scoop of lopsidedness. But it definitely made the structure crookedly beautiful.
It was no longer the perfect building but a unique blend of eccentric structure and composition. Alfonso, the Portuguese ruler took over the reins from Indians and this church was built in commemoration of the great event. The Golden Bell has also made its place here whose pleasant melody you can hear in every corner of the town and the golden charmer is also the most gigantic in the entire state. Do not forget to click some great snaps to colour your travel diary!
8) Church Of Our Lady Of The Mount
You shall catch a view of this enthralling church on the 'Monte' or top of the hill and its location is exactly beside the Se Cathedral. Imagine viewing two mesmerizing houses of prayers at the same time. Encircled by the neighbouring hills with a vibrant aura for the travellers, it shall promise you panoramic scenes of our Old Goa, the Chorao group of islands and the enchanting Mandovi river. It is one of the oldest churches in Goa which has grabbed attention in Bollywood movies like All The Best and Zeher.
9) Mae De Deus Church
A castle-like spectacular building with pure white walls is a visual treat. You shall consider yourself lucky to visit this surreal epitome which houses the phenomenal statue of the 'Mae De Deus'. Its embellishment is quite impressive and it can light up any dark night with its breathtaking glowing affair. It brightens after nightfall and lures a large number of visitors, rendering them speechless.
The first Sunday of May pulls the trigger of excitement in people who commemorate the feast of Our Lady and other 6 altars. Enjoy the reverie of the enchanting church and fill your pockets with memories.
10) St. Diogo's Church
The St. Diogo shall impress you with its extra-special Neo-Roman style of architecture and is one of the best churches in North Goa. Cradled at the foothill of Monte de Guirim, this church houses 3 chimes and 5 Baroque altars. The Patron is St. Diogo and visiting this church shall definitely be worth your precious time.
11) Santa Cruz Church
It is an amalgamation of the Indian and European styles of architecture. If we concentrate on the word 'Santa Cruz', then 'Santa' means 'holy' and 'Cruz' means 'cross'. So, it is the temple of the 'holy cross'. It shall also delight you to know that the feast of the 'Lady Of Rosary' and the feast of the 'holy cross' is the most cherished by devotees. So, when are you joining the line to seek blessings at one of the largest parishes?
12) Three Kings Chapel
As we all know, it is essential to have faith in the power of God who protects us from all evil. This church chooses to test that bond because at the Three Kings Chapel, there is a negative energy which speaks about an incident of greed and jealousy. It shall be pretty exciting to visit this chapel as all the spooky legends associated with it shall give you goosebumps.
13) St. Alex Church
If you take all the churches in Panjim into consideration, this one is the most outstanding. It has a stunning dome in the centre and two towers which surround it to make it look all the more wonderful. The church is committed to St. Alex and Our Lady which is touched with an ornate grotto and the seven altars make it all nice and prominent.
14) Church Of Lady Of Rosary
This church is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. Built in 1510, this church, which is more like a fortress, reflects elegance. This is one of the oldest churches of North Goa which was built under the orders of Afonso de Albuquerque. This is a kind of church you can say, where the Portuguese traditions are more clearly seen. It is more of a Portuguese feel than Goan.
15) St. Elizabeth's Church
Built in 1618, this church is well-known for its stunning rococo features which are asymmetric and have decorative features. It was pulled down by a storm in 1708 only to be reconstructed more beautifully. A brilliant statue of Jesus Christ in the front of the church adds to the sophistication of the church.
16) Church Of Our Lady Of Miracles
Every church has a unique story of its own. This one again blends with the Portuguese. They very much wanted to promote Christianity and hence built this church over a temple. It is also known as St. Jerome Church. But why? This is because it was first faithfully committed to St. Jerome. It was demolished completely in a fire but rebuilt to be named 'Church Of Our Lady Of Miracles'.
17) Church Of The Holy Spirit
PC: Ramnath Bhat
This church went through a lot of hassles. The Portuguese brutally destroyed the shrine of a Hindu deity before constructing a church in that place. It was dissolved by the Muslim army also a number of times before it stood undisturbed in the year 1675. Its magnificent architecture is praiseworthy and its religious significance is also touched upon.
18) St. John The Baptist Church
Here, the Goan architecture is the most commendable. Located on a hilltop, its altars and galleries are simply charming with intricate designs. This church in North Goa carries out an exciting feast which is accompanied by a lot of fun and enjoyment.
19) Nossa Senhora de Penha de Franca
PC: Rodrigo Soldon
Its location at the meeting point of river Maposa and river Mandovi is a visual treat. It has an interesting story behind it. It is said to be built by Portuguese seamen who were sailing to India. They had complete faith in a Spanish saint to whom the church was solely dedicated to. Penha de Franca was their guardian angel who looked after their ships was their belief.
20) Holy Cross Shrine
This shrine plays the role of a bodyguard for the magical cross. People flock to the shrine anytime and every time, irrespective of the weather conditions. It is a new construction known as Fulancho Khuris all across Goa, i.e., 'Cross Of Flowers' in Bambolim.