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Churches Of Old Goa
The Churches of Old Goa stand as a testimony of the wealth and grandeur of that city in the first two centuries of Portuguese rule. The churches are about all that is left of the old city, as if symbolizing the permanence of the spiritual above the material.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

The most important of these Churches is popularly known as the Basilica Of Bom Jesus in which are enshrined the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The church was built by the Jesuits, and consecrated to the Holy Name of jesus on 15th May 1605. The imposing façade built of black granite in an exquisite combination of the Doric, Corinthain and Composite styles, is remarkable for its simplicity. It measures 183 ft in length, 55 ft in breadth and 61 ft in height. The main altar is 54 ft high and 30 ft broad. As the visitor enters the church his attention is caught by a life size statue of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, which occupies the centre of the main altar. To the visitor’s right is a chapel in which stands the mausoleum that holds the relics of St. Francis Xavier.

The Se Cathedral Church

The principal church of Goa and at one time the main church of the east, is The Se Cathedral dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria on whose feast day in 1510 Alfonso Albuquerque defeated the Muslim army and took possession of the city of Goa. The church is 250 ft in length and 181 ft in breadth. The frontispiece stands 115 ft high. The tower on the right came down in 1776 and has not been rebuilt. The exterior is built in half Tuscan, half Doric style, and the side in Mosaico – Corinthian. It is divided by two rows of massive pillars into a nave and two aisles. The nave is 72 ft high. Near the entrance, to the right, is the baptismal font in which St. Francis Xavier is said to have baptized thousands of Goan converts.

Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament

Engraved on the main altar are relics depicting the martyrdom of St. Catherine. The Chapel Of The Blessed Sacrament is 72 ft long and 22 ft broad and is beautifully adorned. Just behind the Cathedral Church lies the Palace of the Archbishop, a two storied edifice which is no longer in use.

The Convent And Church Of St. Francis Of Assisi

To the west of the Cathedral is the Franciscan Church and the adjoining residence of the Friars which are said to have been completed in 1521. Except for the portal which belongs to the church, it was entirely rebuilt in the second half of the 17th century. It was described as one of the best churches in Goa, and even though all that we see today are only the traces of its original grandeur, it is still worth a visit. The adjoining Convent has been turned into an Archeological Museum open to the public.

The Church of St Cajetan Church

To the North East of the Cathedral, about half a kilometer away and close to the ruins of the Viceregal Palace, is the beautiful church dedicated to St. Cajetan, built by Italian Friars of the Theatine order. The church is small, but it exceeds in beauty of the Cathedral itself. It is said to have been built after the style of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. The external architecture is Corinthian, and the interiors are in the Mosaico-Corinthian style. In the middle of the nave, directly underneath the beautiful cupola, is a well which is covered except for a small opening. The green moss on the cupola is attributed to the moisture emanating from the well. Recently with the construction of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre where the Theatine Monastery was, the church was renovated and used by the Pastoral Centre for its liturgical services. The altars of the old church are left in their original form, and though their rich gilding has faded, they are worth seeing.

The Church of St John of God

The Holy Hill is so called because of the number of churches located on it. It is situated in front of The Basilica of Bom Jesus, about 200 meters away. As one goes up this small hill, to the left is the Church and Convent of St. John of God. Built by the Hospitaliers in 1691, it has multiple pyramidal roofs that are typical of the monuments of 17th century Old Goa; the facade is plain with manneristic trends, which is now being utilized as a home for the aged.

The Church And Convent Of St. Monica s

santa MonicaA large and magnificent structure, the first convent for nuns in India, founded in 1606. The building has three stories with a basement, cloister and large gardens that could accommodate 250 inmates consisting of nuns and widows who were willing to devote themselves to the service of God. The education of Goan women in the domestic arts such as cutting, tailoring, lace making, embroidery an Indo-Portuguese cuisine were taught here.

The Church of St Augustinian

St Augustian ChurchIn front of the church of Santa Monica, one sees the tower and ruins of what was once the Augustinian Church and Monastery. The built this complex church, a convent, a college and a seminary between 1572 and 1605. These were majestic buildings of which only part of the belfry of the church remains in mute attestation to the magnificence of an era.

The Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary

It was the Parish church of the city since 1543, and the place where St. Francis Xavier would teach catechism in the evenings, to those who flocked at the sound of a little bell, that he would ring.

The Church of Our Lady of the Mount
Our lady of mount

Stands on the summit of a hillock opposite the Se Cathedral. Neat stone steps lead to the top. It was from here that the artillery of Yusuf Adil Shah decimated the forces of Afonso de Albuquerque, who was forced to take refuge on his ships at the mouth of the River Mandovi. The dedicated to Our Lady Of The Mount with the Infant Jesus. The feast of the Church is celebrated on September the 8th.


Cruz Dos Milagres

South of the Basilica Of Bom Jesus on a hill called Calcada Da Luz is the church of Crus Dos Milagres. In 1619 the miraculous apparition of Christ is said to have taken place on a wooden cross placed there by the parish priest of Se Cathedral. The Archbishop of Goa then ordered the construction of the church, which was later abandoned due to insalubrious conditions and various epidemics. The cross was transferred to one of the Chapels of Se Cathedral.

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