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Churches in Goa - India Vacation Packages

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Churches in Goa

The beach capital of India, Goa has more to offer beyond the beautiful nature. Amongst the other must visits landmarks in Goa are its many churches. The entire Indian state of Goa is dotted with churches that reveal the rich religious heritage of Goa. The churches of Goa are monuments of stone. They are of permanent interest to the historian, the archaeologist, the student of art and architecture, the tourist and indeed to every curious intellect.

Here are some of the Popular Churches of Goa.

Church of St. Andrew - GoaBasilica of Bom Jesus
Visitors from India and overseas flock to the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, built in 1605, and now declared a World Heritage Monument. The church houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa, who died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2, 1552. The following year, while transferring his remains to Goa, in accordance with his wishes, it was found that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried. This miraculous phenomenon continues to attract the devout from all lands, and an Exposition or public viewing of his body every ten years attracts lakhs of pilgrims. The Saint had miraculous healing powers which were experienced by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad when he came for the Exposition of 1878

Church of St. Andrew
This famous church of Goa Velha was originally built in 1583 but was abandoned for fear of its collapse. The present church, named after the Patron St. Andrew, the Apostle, was built in 1868 in a different place at the same village. The most remarkable feature of this church is the Procession of All Saints, the only such procession besides Rome, when 31 statues of the saints are taken in a procession on the 5th Monday of Lent around the whole village covering some 2-km distance. In the beginning, the number of statues was 65. The statues were taken from the Monastery of the Capuchos at Pilar in 1835 after the extinction of this religious order.

Church of St. Cajetan
Built in the style of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in c.1655 AD near the Viceroy's Arch at Old Goa, it is well maintained and a splendid example of Christian architecture. It was built by Italian friars of the Order of Theatines who were sent by the Pope Urban III. Now known as the Church of the Divine Providence. A pastoral college for newly ordained priests is adjacent to it.

Procession of All Saints, the only such procession besides Rome, when 31 statues of the saints are taken in a procession on the 5th Monday of Lent around the whole village covering some 2-km distance. In the beginning, the number of statues was 65. The statues were taken from the Monastery of the Capuchos at Pilar in 1835 after the extinction of this religious order.

Church of the Carmelites in Goa
Nothing remains of the Church of the Carmelites excepting the façade and a raised pavement, which served as an altar. Its location is to the southeast of the Church of St. Cajetan and is on a hill more or less contiguous to the hill on which the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount stands.

The church was built in 1621. The Carmelites, on their refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance to the king, were expelled from Goa in 1707. The church fell into disuse and ruins soon after.

The Church of St. Francis Xavier in Goa
Behind the gate of St. Paul's college is a Kuchcha road branching off the main road, leading to the chapel of St. Francis Xavier. It is built of laterite plastered with lime mortar, with tiled roof supported by wooden rafters is a plain chapel with only one altar.

Architecturally, it is of the Doric order. The Chapel was within the enclosure of the College of St. Paul and was dedicated either to St. Anthony or to St. Jerome. As the chapel was used by St. Francis Xavier, it was re-dedicated to him after his canonization in 1622.

The original chapel was in existence in 1545. With the outbreak of the epidemic and the consequent abandoning of the college of St. Paul in 1570, the chapel fell into ruins and the present chapel was built in 1884.

Se Cathedral Church - GoaSe Cathedral Church in Goa
The Portuguese Viceroy Redondo commissioned the Se, or St. Catherine's' Cathedral, southwest of St. Cajetan's, to be "a grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific". Today it stands larger than any church in Portugal, although it was beset by problems, not least a lack of funds and Portugal's temporary loss of independence to Spain. It took eighty years to build and was not consecrated until 1640.

The Chapel of Our Lady of The Mount in Goa
As one proceeds, about 2-km on the main road towards Ponda, a Kuchcha road branches off towards north at a place where a cross is fixed. The road leads to a hill on which, commanding a picturesque view, is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount. A series of steps leads to the Chapel, which is built of laterite plastered with lime mortar. It has three main altars dedicated respectively to our lady of the mount, St. Anthony and St. Andrew.

The chapel was built under the orders of Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510 and is referred to as in existence in 1519. It was reconstructed twice.

The Church And Convent Of St. Monica, Goa
In the Holy Hill, on the way to the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary , is a huge three-storeyed building of laterite which was originally lime-plastered but is now plastered with cement. It is square on plan with a large inner courtyard, around which is a cloistered verandah and numerous cells and halls. The vaulted ceilings in some of the halls are tastefully painted with floral decorations and scenes from the Holy bible.

The construction of the convent and the church of St. Monica was commenced in 1606 and completed in 1627. The building was destroyed in a fire in 1636 and re-built the following year.

The Convent And The Church Of St. John Of God, Goa
Situated to the east of the tower of St. Augustine it is a plain looking building constructed in the beginning of the 18th century. The convent was abandoned in 1835. The Society of the Misericordia occupied it for some time.

From 1844 onwards, it was used as a residence for chaplains, confessors and others employed on behalf of the nuns of St. Monica. The roof of the church was removed in 1850. The present roof was built recently.

The Royal Chapel of St. Anthony, Goa
To the west of the tower of St. Augustine is the Royal Chapel dedicated to St. Anthony, the national saint of Portugal and held in great veneration by the Portuguese. It was built in the beginning of the 17th century.

In 1835 the chapel was closed but opened again in 1894 when it was also renovated. It was inaugurated again in 1961 after complete restoration done by the Portuguese Government.



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