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goa churchesRelive the serenity of the Portuguese past

No place in this world can beat of spirit of Goa as a holiday spot. Whether sandy beaches, electric nightlife or majestic churches and forts; every element here is a whole new world. Portuguese influence is Goa continues to live in the beautiful churches that they created. Feasts and events here are a part of a pilgrimage that Christians undertake atleast once in their lifetime. 
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate ConceptionRua Emídio Garcia, Altinho, Panaji, Goa

Locally called the Panaji Church, this monument can be easily identified by its zigzag stairs. It was built by Portuguese in 1541 for the Portuguese sailors, when Panaji was nothing but a small fishing village. This small church was renovated to a bigger structure around 18th century. A bell was added which is the second largest in Goa. Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is a great celebration here. During this time, the entire church is being illuminated and fairs are organized which run for a long time. People put various articles like furniture, utensil, toy and clothes on display.

Event: Feast of Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on 8th of December every year.

Timing: 9:00 am - 7:30 pm

Se CathedralVelha, Old Goa

One of the largest and best churches of Goa as well as Asia; the 16th century cathedral is highly admired for its Portuguese-Gothic architecture.  It is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria and marks the victory of Portuguese general Afonso de Albuquerque over Adil Shah and his Muslim Army. Se Cathedral is considered as a pilgrimage for being the seat of the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. The cathedral has 8 chapels and six altars along its aisles. Golden bell here is best in Goa and also the world for its rich tone. 

Event: Feast day of St. Catherine of Alexandria is celebrated on 25 November and attended by people from all over the world.

Timing: 7:00 am - 6:30 pm

Bom Jesus Basilica Bainguinim, Old Goa

Famous among the Roman Catholics all over the world, this imposing basilica is a perfect example of baroque architecture. One of the oldest churches in Goa, the foundation stone of this basilica was laid on 24th November 1594. Bom Jesus meaning Good Jesus, the Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier in a silver casket and displayed in every ten years. This is a major event among Christians and the occasion attracts lakhs of Christian pilgrims from all over the world.

Event: Feast of St. Francis Xavier is celebrated every year on the 3rd of December. Next viewing of St. Francis Xavier’s body event is supposed to be in 2024. 

Timings: 9:00 am - 6:30 pm

Church of St. Francis of AssisiVelha, North Goa

Architectural brilliance of this church is what attracts every eye. It was established in 1517 by eight Portuguese Franciscan friars who came to in Goa in that year. During its inception as a small chapel, it had a choir and three alters. It was later modified in 1602 with Tuscan style structure and Mosaic - Corinthian interiors; also dedicated to the Holy Ghost. Today, the church is highly admired for its paintings, carvings and alters. Major highlight here are two huge statues of St. Francis Assisi, St. Michael and Jesus on cross.

Event: Feast of St Francis of Assisi is celebrated in October 4th every year. This feast is attended by people from all walks of life.

Timing: 7:30 am - 6:30 pm

Church of St. Caetano Velha, Goa

The gracious old building of this church reminds one of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Popular as Our Lady of Divine Providence, it was built by Italian friars of the Order of Theatines. As one goes in, he will be inspired by a hemispherical dome and alter piece with intricate baroque style carvings. Alters here have many paintings which belong to an Italian school and they beautifully depict scenes of St. Cajetan’s life. Niches on the sides of the vault have wooden statues that belong to various saints of Christianity.

Timing: 7:30 am - 6:30 pm

Church of Mae de DeusSaligao, North Goa

Mae de Deus meaning Mother of God, church has a glamorous charm because of its Gothic spires and striking white walls. Its foundation stone was laid on 7th February 1867 and final inauguration was done on November 26, 1873. Located in the countryside, the structure of this church is like a Neo-Gothic fairy tale castle. Christians from all over Goa and world visit here to receive the blessings of Mae de Deus. It is said that her idol inside was brought from the remnants of convent of Mae de Deus at Old Goa.

Event: First Sunday of May every year is the church feast day of Feast of Our Lady, the Mother of God. The feast day proceeds the 9-day Novena.

Timing: 9.00am to 12.30pm and from 3.00pm to 5.00pm

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